Israel, USA, 2019, 70 min
Director: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
audio: English, Hebrew, Arab
subtitles: Romanian, English
Festivals and awards: Berlin International Film Festival 2020 / Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival 2020 / True/False 2020 / DOC NYC 2020 / DocAviv Film Festival 2019
The mass-media of the contemporary world seem to have made a real profession of faith of bombarding the audience with entire waves of information. From amateur images to serious television-commissioned reports, the audiovisual universe overflows with heartbreaking confessions, desolate everyday scenes, terrifying proofs of the terror and the chaos which rule in some parts of the world. However, you still need to take precautions when you plunge into the vast realm of images and to constantly question their justness, and this is precisely filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s goal. His film stems from a gesture of curiosity and it comes to delve deep into the principle that lies at the basis of cinema itself: what do we look at when we watch a film or a recording? Maia Levy, a young American of Judaic origin, becomes the director’s accomplice and takes on his challenge to comment on YouTube clips of the life of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation, while her reactions are captured by a video camera. Faced with the filmed sequences and the recording of her answers, the girl experiences both doubt and empathy, as well as the temptation of taking sides. The interpretation of the images turns into a slippery, and to a large extent perverse process, one which depends upon the prejudices and the emotional state of the viewer, and which cannot be reduced to absolute objectivity. Because, in essence, a film is as many films, as are the spectators walking into the movie theatre. (by Andreea Chiper)
Ra’anan Alexandrowicz is a director, screenwriter and editor. He is known for the documentary “The Law in These Parts” (2011), which received the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, a Peabody award, and numerous other prizes. Alexandrowicz’s single fiction feature, “James’ Journey to Jerusalem” (2003), premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and at the Toronto International Film Festival. Alexandrowicz served several times as an editing advisor for the Sundance Documentary Fund and his film, “The Viewing Booth,” is supported by the Sundance Art of Nonfiction initiative.