The Viewing Booth, dir. Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Israel / USA 2019, 72 min., English, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
Minimalist in approach yet far-reaching in both application and consequence, The Viewing Booth
is a one-of-a-kind cinematic testimony to the psychology of the viewer in our digital era.
The set-up could hardly be simpler: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, an Israeli filmmaker, invites Maia Levy, an American student, to enter a small booth and then watch, reflect on and react to a series of short videos showing Palestinian life under Israeli military rule. What ensures is staggering, puzzling and insightful, and extends far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to show that seeing is not always believing.
Premiered at the Berlinale this year, The Viewing Booth is an important film that questions the very act of watching in a society saturated by often manipulated images.