All Eyes On Us – Review
It’s Autumn 2013, and after all of the glitz, glamour and general razzmatazz of London 2012, it’s safe to say we’re in a better place to judge just how lasting and impacting the “Olympic Legacy” is going to be. Enter, All Eyes On Us, a short motivational documentary, directed by Eelyn Lee, that tells a story of the making of the spectacular Paralympic opening ceremony from the point of view of 4 of its performers.
First off, congratulations are in order to the crew and production team of the film for the logistical achievement of navigating the bureaucratic quagmire that is LOCOG. Managing to gain access to official rehearsals, behind-the-scenes footage and opening ceremony footage is an absurd task for a very small, very independent film. Then there’s the emotive and inspiring achievements of people from different backgrounds, with a wide range of disabilities overcoming their various impairments to deliver a rabble-rousing performance, and hopefully, a much-needed shaking up of people’s views of the disabled.
The film uses fairly normal documentary techniques – talking head segments backed with brief clips of the actual performance and a subtlety emotional backing soundtrack, however, when put in context, all of this becomes more impressive. Also, in the spirit of London 2012, the film’s production crew was mostly comprised of young filmmakers from East London, some of them disabled themselves.
It’s all too easy to be cynical about the Olympic legacy, even more so for the Paralympic Legacy. Cries of “nothing’s really changed” and grim statistics about arts and sports funding cuts are all too familiar. Through the four featured performers (actress Lauren Barrand, stage actor and director David Ellington, ex-Armed Forces Johnnie Ray and performance debutant Stephen Bunce) and its wheelchair-bound interviewer (Jacqui Adeniji-Williams) , All Eyes On Us glows with an infectious positivity and indomitable attitude. Despite not being deeply groundbreaking or shocking, the film’s main purpose is to shine a light on the stories of disabled people achieving great successes - whether it be performing a full aero-acrobatic display whilst being a double amputee, or this film.
Do you need a space to do what you love, make a change, connect your community or start your business? We find space for free! Get in touch with your local rep here and see what might happen…