All Light, Everywhere
documentary, USA, 2021
DIRECTED BY: Theo Anthony
All Light, Everywhere explores the personal and philosophical relationships between cameras and weaponry. Once again, as in his acclaimed debut feature Rat film, director Theo Anthony roots his inquiry in Baltimore, a city that has long been a testing ground for new policing technologies.
Using the rise of police body cameras as a point of departure, Anthony creates a kaleidoscopic portrait of our shared histories of cameras, weapons, policing and justice. Moving from the 19th century, where the nascent art of photography went hand in hand with colonial projects and the development of automatic weapons, to the headquarters of Axon, a company with a near monopoly on body cameras in the United States, Anthony charts a long view of the relationship between photography and violence. His narrative encompasses abstract explorations of the nature of perception and concrete examples of how the limitations of that perception are weaponized.
All Light, Everywhere presents this authoritarian use of photography without ever losing sight of the medium’s potential to subvert. Anthony’s self-reflexive style makes room for both ambiguity and the sublime, employing verité, performance, and archival research to frame and reframe, underline and undermine. The film stands as a rebuke of the very images it uses to construct its argument. All Light, Everywhere orients the viewer toward a more democratic approach to the image, forsaking the illusion of certainty for a shared journey towards truth.