All Light, EverywhereDirector: Theo Anthony. US, 2021, 109 min. English
Theo Anthony's latest playful, free-floating essay unpicks the complex nexus of connections between the gun and the camera, skipping back and forth between theory and practice with typical droll intelligence. Tied together by a female voiceover whose clipped delivery is oddly reminiscent of a computer, the film sets its sights on various contemporary phenomena that already seem to have one foot in the future, as the synth washes also suggest: the company producing taser guns and body cameras that are becoming ever more intertwined, the police seminars that train officers in the use of both, the man who illicitly created a bird's eye map of Baltimore in real time for the dubiously titled Persistent Surveillance Systems.
But such tendencies are not as new as they seem, historical attempts to map out heavenly bodies soon found military application, the 19th century photographic rifle also tied weaponry to vision, and the human gaze was already outsourced to pigeons as part of 20th century warfare. In the past, present and future, when gun meets camera, cinema ensues and here is no exception, although the focus might be a different one: At the exact point where the world meets the seeing of the world, we're blind. From what history does the future dream? (James Lattimer)