Monday, December 6, 2021

Eyes of the Beholder

All Light, Everywhere (2021) - Anthony All Light, Everywhere Baltimore based filmmaker Theo Anthony (Rat Film), comes out with All Light, Everywhere: another philosophical musing/exposé, mapping and connecting dots exercise, pointing out discrepancies in the underserved community (Urban black) overburdened with profit based surveillance system - police bodycam and satellite surveillance. Just like Rat Film, All Light feels like a watching a well-drawn out Film Studies Thesis on screen and I mean that as a compliment.

It's interesting to see the executives, spokesperson and enforcers of various organizations are all white male. The workers and the community the military's eugenics based technologies are being tested on are people of color. There is a heated debate in a community meeting that Anthony films, between the guy trying to sell satellite technology to deter the crime and some community members objecting to invasion of privacy- making a point that security cameras don't deter crimes unless you fix the racist system.

The future technology that the film presents is here already - face recognition, the prevalent of police bodycam and CCTV is part of our modern life. The question is how much we could live with it in a so-called democratic society. And who is most affected by this invasion of privacy?

Always mindful about racist American history, Anthony connects the dots to expose the uneasy relationship among technology, commerce, race and power dynamics of the eyes of the beholder. And it's a fascinating one.

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