All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, dir. Laura Poitras, USA 2022, 113 min., English, 18
The turbulent life, powerful art and passionate activism of American photographer Nan Goldin make a compelling subject for the latest feature from director Laura Poitras (Citizenfour, My Country, My Country) – just the second documentary ever to win the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival.
Nan Goldin made her name with The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a haunting monograph documenting life on the margins in 1980s New York. More than 30 years later, Goldin found herself heading a global campaign against the Sackler family, whose fortune supported dozens of major arts institutions worldwide, but was largely made through OxyContin, the fiercely addictive drug at the heart of the American opioid crisis. Through intimate footage and searching conversations, Poitras skilfully traces Goldin’s journey from there to here, and in the process, shows that the personal and the political are often two sides of the same coin.