Objectivity, or the lack of it, has been a key talking point in nonfiction cinema since Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North (1922). Theo Anthony’s third feature All Light, Everywhere reevaluates this notion and its interconnected meanings in a contemporary setting, drawing connections between colonial photographic methodologies of the 19th century and modern police technologies in Baltimore.
Recent history and dramatic events have lent the film an even greater political pertinence and prompted larger discussions on the role of the police in our communities. As spectators, we are urged to consider – as in the case of police body cameras, for instance – what is subjective or objective in any given viewpoint. Have smartphones, in the hands of bystanders, allowed for more accountability for police brutality?
All Light, Everywhere questions and reimagines the very idea of the ‘objective lens’, positioning the camera as a weapon for both the oppressors and the oppressed.