Going beyond the imprint of appearances, When I Stop Looking invokes the intensely private worlds of those portrayed, each of whom lives with significant facial and cranial conditions. Some viewers mention feeling an uncomfortable sense of complicity after viewing When I Stop Looking. The film works with this edge -- opening up areas for viewers to critique both the way an image is being presented as well as their roles as spectators. Viewers are invited to "enter into" the emotional tone(s) of the film while backing into an encounter with the sources of their own discomfort or empathy. Complicity, here, often shows up as sentimentalizing (adulation and pity are forms of this), or in the form of denying emotion, denying interiority to someone who is different from us, which might be called objectification -- the film advances with this in mind. Vivid affirmations of existence come forward, before anything else.