The Whole World Is Watching

2014, Media  -   27 Comments
Ratings: 8.44/10 from 80 users.

If George Holliday, a 31-year-old plumbing contractor living in Lake View Terrace, Los Angeles, had not taken his camera outside to capture one footage, the beating of Rodney King, one of the most remembered human-rights atrocities of the 20th century may have gone completely unnoticed except by King himself and the man who brutally and repeatedly beat him as he lay defenseless on the ground.

As an animal rights activist Michael Sizer can't even begin to estimate how many hours of footage he's captured of people in public, people working, shopping, or just doing whatever it is people do outside. He has also been approached by pedestrians, police officers and security guards telling him that he's not allowed to take pictures there or take pictures of them or their faces, or that he can't take pictures of businesses or buildings.

And it used to be that he had no idea whether they were right, wrong or whether they really had any clue themselves. He didn't know whether he was allowed to take pictures of them, he didn't know whether he was allowed to share them on Facebook or YouTube. So, in this film Michael is going to explore the challenges activists encounter when using their cameras in public and get to the bottom of what we can and cannot do under the law.

In 1991 Kodak released the first digital consumer camera, in the year 2000 the first consumer camera phone hit the market in Japan, but today with their full resolution sensors and Internet connectivity smartphones have enabled regular people like you and me to become citizen journalists. And thanks to blogs and photo and video sharing sites we even have our own easily accessible publishing options some of which allow us to publish in real time as the events are happening.

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27 Comments / User Reviews

  1. JD Straw

    Racism is evil no matter the color of the perpetrator or the victim

  2. Paul

    i Just watched the first 10 minutes and already I'm a little bit torn - I think that everyone has the right to some privacy - e.g. If I get drunk and fall over, I may not necessarily want to be filmed at my worst moment and shared in the public domain - or should we all just be robots who should never do anything wrong in our lives? ... nonetheless I do see the value of filming cops :)

  3. 31jetjet

    That was a Canadian doc about your rights as a photographer/citizen journalist, whether you use pro equipment or your smartphone. If you like to take pictures this is an enlightening doc.

  4. Tom Kaye

    Good Grief! Who writes the introductions to these films?

    The beating of Rodney King was NOT a human rights ATROCITY! The Holocaust (6-10 million dead) was an atrocity. The Cambodian Killing Fields (2 million dead) was an atrocity. The Cultural Revolution, the Bataan Death March, Lenin's famines and Stalin's purges, the fire-bombing of Dresden, the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan, mustard gas and the trenches of WWI. . . These and so many more events of the 20th century were atrocities.

    The beating of Rodney King? It was barely a violation of his civil rights!

    Do you remember? King was a 6 foot 5 inch PCP freak (who are known to be extremely strong and violent on the drug) who wouldn't lay down or stay down while a bunch of poorly trained cops used ineffective techniques to subdue him. He had been racing through city streets going 100 miles an hour, threatening life and property when he finally stopped and got out of his car and attacked the police. The so-called "beating" happened when the police tried to subdue him.

    Some REAL atrocities associated with Rodney King? How about the 53 innocent people who were killed during the riots? How about the rioters who REALLY knew how to beat down an innocent man? The men who attacked Reginald Denny dragged him from his truck where he wasn't hurting anyone, and in just 24 SECONDS (it too, was caught on video) maimed, crippled and damaged his brain for LIFE! Twenty-four seconds! The King cops beat on Rodney for more than four or five minutes and he was STILL able to leave the hospital the next day with just a few bruises on his face. NO permanent damage.

    And then, King got $60 MILLION DOLLARS for his "ordeal". Which he then blew on MORE drugs. He then did a stint in rehab - "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," that is. I saw him on the show. He seemed like a really nice guy! But he was suffering NO permanent damage from his "atrocity." At least, none that he didn't inflict on himself.

    Reginald Denny got NOTHING but a small insurance payout for his attack and he is STILL disabled to this day. I saw him interviewed. He can barely talk and needs help with the simple tasks of daily living. THAT is a human rights atrocity.

    King was NO victim.

    1. Richard Neva

      Don't play that Holocaust Hoax here! Many are not buying that lie anymore, it has run it's course.

    2. Tom Kaye

      Holocaust hoax? Great way to miss the point, Swifty!

      What kind if a life are you living if everything you read and see and experience is filtered through an obsessive compulsion to deny a historical event that happened 70 years ago? What a sad, little life you must be living.

      Do something to get out if your rut. Your mental health and future happiness depends on it. Good luck!

    3. disqus_K1GnjXhonJ

      Rodney King was tested for drug use after he was arrested and it came out negative... he only drank that night.

    4. Morthund

      l know it's only a minor point, but alcohol is in fact a drug, and is at least if not a more antisocial substance (depending on the individual and the form he's in on that particular day of course) than PCP, which is after all anaesthetic

    5. Tom Kaye

      I don't recall that but OK, I'll take your word for it. So what? Did you watch the video? He was beaten down by four (6?) officers for over six minutes and STILL wouldn't go down or stay down. How badly could he have been getting beaten? He was ACTING like a man strung out on PCP, a very popular drug at the time and known to enhance strength.

      All he had to do to stop the cops was submit. But he wouldn't do that.

    6. Dan

      Atrocity- behavior or action that is wicked or ruthless... so your wrong look up definitions before you try to pretend you know stuff

    7. Tom Kaye

      Check your own definitions, Dan. Wicked: an EXTREMELY wicked or cruel act. Ruthless: having or showing no pity or compassion.

      There was nothing EXTREME, CRUEL or RUTHLESS about the beatdown King got. He deserved it! The police were trying, and failing, to subdue a drugged out suspect who was a danger to himself and everyone around him.

      And afterwards they took him to the hospital for treatment. Is THAT your definition of cruelty? King suffered NO severe injuries. NO internal bleeding. NO broken bones. NO fractures. He WALKED out of the hospital the very next day!

      I'll bet you think what happened to Michael Brown was wicked and ruthless, too, don't you? The poor "gentle giant" who tried to shoot a cop with his own gun.

      And what about the two grand jury witnesses who backed up Officer Wilson's testimony and were found MURDERED execution style after they testified? Do they qualify as atrocities to you? Don't bother answering.

      Those who are sympathetic of evil ARE evil.

  5. Hubbub

    Entertaining and informative doc! Although, the topic of not being allowed to take photos on private property in Fort McMurray is a bit one-sided. No matter how angelic/evil a company may be, it's commonplace to ban photography to protect trade secrets. Companies invest a lot of time, money and resources into optimizing processes. Regardless of the intention of the photo, leaking trade secrets can give competitors major and unfair advantages. Moreover, if the photographed company can sue the photographer for damages, that could be pretty costly!

    1. Horst Manure

      The CIA etc used their service to get info on over seas companies quoting on deals or confidential info to help USA firms.

  6. gaboora

    Some useful information here. I'm not in favor of it being politically incorrect to criticize blacks for all the violence they get away with today. But the main man who brutalized Rodney King should be locked up in the most disgusting, hard prison without any chance of ever getting out.

  7. chris999

    watch ALL of the so called "Rodney King beating
    ",and see why the cops were found 42:27 of the youtube doc "Behind The Big News Propaganda and the CFR"...the Jew owned media tricks you constantly,so simple yet effective.

    1. John Marus

      @chis999 - great example of small mindedness and a purely racist perspective.

    2. kcsummer

      TRUTH whyare you opposed to ALL the facts - the entire video? CENSORED NEWS isnt news its propaganda.

    3. gaboora

      Hey, thanks for the link. It's good to have some larger context on the Rodney King affair. If that doc. got the facts right, King was a bad dude who needed to be subdued. But still, the cops went way too far. I can sort of understand that cops can get frustrated and carry things farther than they would with cool heads.

  8. Imightberiding

    This little film was just chock full of information. Good one.

  9. Janeen Clark

    copyright is obsolete form of previous domination

  10. John Murgaš

    what about films recorded on google glass?

    1. Michael Sizer

      the technology you use to capture footage shouldn't matter. I can't see why google glass would be any different than any other capture device.

    2. Paul Gloor

      Except that it's not innately obvious and will frazzle nerves on that basis alone. The law shouldn't stand any different on it though.

  11. silvy

    Very useful information. good to know to be more confident as of what our rights are when taking pictures in public. This is a canadian documentary and as a canadian I would just want clarification as to a situation I have come across. In the documentary it says that in public we have the right to take a picture of any citizen who is in public. I am a mother and I have taken my son to the public kiddie wading pool at the park. when any parent has tried to take a picture of their children the lifeguard informs them that they are not allowed (I can imagine that is is because of the scare these days of having pedophiles taking pictures of small children) which is fine, I understand the risk and would refrain from taking pictures because of it. But under the law would it actually be legal for a stranger to come up and take pictures of the children and even after being told by the life guard they cant take pictures, could they defend their right to take any picture they want in public? Just curious.

    1. Michael Sizer

      Hi Silvy, the answer to your question depends on where the person is standing when s/he is taking the photo. If s/he is taking the photo while on public property, and is not using some unusually complicated means to take the photo (climbing a ladder to see over a fence or using an extremely long tele lens) then yes, that person can indeed defend his/her right to take the photo. Whether the police could charge him/her with anything else as a deterrent I don't know, but taking the photo would be perfectly legal. Cheers! M.

    2. bobcooper

      Whether you are allowed to take unauthorised photographs of people depends on the laws of the country you are.
      Here in Australia the privacy act prohibits it. You can take pics of a person committing a crime but the stupid thing is that you aren't allowed to take a pic of the perpetrator of a crime after the event should you wish to give a pic to the police

  12. User_001

    Great video and I hope this subject gets explored more. Maybe to the point where the whole public knows their rights? Now that's a dream I hope will one day be fulfilled!