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All Light, Everywhere (2021) movie review

The idea that stills and image-recording technology can become extensions of state subjugation and white supremacist ideals is the film’s most urgent and powerful line of inquiry, never so much as when a group of Black Baltimoreans meets a community with a representative. of a company that wants to install additional cameras in its neighborhood, allegedly to deter crime. This captivating scene (broken down, alas, and used for more transversal effects, to its detriment) involves the film itself, which was made mostly by white artists. Blacks in the room call out to the filmmakers not to have any colored people on the team (one of them says he personally knows several colored filmmakers who could have participated) and rings one of the sponsors of meeting, a A Black Clergyman, for not being very clear with them about how footage from that meeting would be used in Anthony’s documentary. The face of the most eloquent angry person in the play, a Haitian immigrant, is blurry, possibly because Anthony wanted him in the movie but didn’t want to be sued – a choice so complicated and unsettling he deserves. his own short film.

The film keeps coming back to the intersection of race and police work, especially when it focuses on Scottsdale, Ariz.-Based Axon Technology formerly Taser, which makes stun guns, body cameras and other gadgets. An Axon spokesperson continues to inadvertently serve metaphors and ironies on a silver platter, and the film delights in it. At one point, he shows the crew around a factory where body cameras and weapons are made, proudly states that the open floor plan is a testament to his belief in “transparency” and “sincerity,” then draws in the attention of its visitors to a “black box” area on the second floor where researchers can block their panoramic view of the workshop, to prevent anyone from seeing what they are making. Later, the filmmakers step into the “black box” area and ask Axon’s spokesperson to show how windows can be cleared with the push of a button. He does it over and over again, beaming at how cool and effortless it is.

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Obviously, there is no correct answer to any of these detours, a few of which almost become narrative dead ends until the film recovers and returns to the present moment. It’s thanks to Anthony, who wrote and edited as well as directed, and his cinematographer Corey Hughes, that you come back thinking parts of the film that felt like digressions and undergraduate reflections. when you looked at them. As a standalone work, “All Light, Everywhere” has more issues than can be described here. But as a discussion incentive gift bag, it’s hard to beat.

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