The Viewing Booth (Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, 2019)


Location: Rubenstein Arts Center, Film Theater

The Viewing Booth
(Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, 2019, 71 min, USA, in English, Hebrew, and Arabic with English subtitles, Color, DCP)

“I’m looking for something to support what I think.” So declares Maia Levy, the subject of Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s astonishing documentary exploring the limits of filmic empathy and its capacity for generating political change.  In a lab-like environment, Maia Levy, a young American woman, watches videos portraying life in the West Bank city of Hebron, while verbalizing her thoughts and feelings in real time. Although she is an enthusiastic supporter of Israel, the images in the videos, disseminated for the most part by the Human Rights organization B’Tselem, contradict some of Maia’s deep-seated beliefs. Empathy; anger; embarrassment; personal biases and healthy curiosity – all play out before our eyes as we watch her watch the images created by the Occupation. The Viewing Booth offers a fascinating exploration of a space ostensibly off-limits to cinema – the internal experience of the viewer.

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Close-up image of Maia Levy - subject of the documentary, THE VIEWING BOOTH - gazing intently into the camera.

Contact: Hank Okazaki


Sponsor: Duke Cinematic Arts