Wednesday, November 30, 2022

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Director Laura Poitras' documentary examines the life of artist and activist Nan Goldin. The film touches on pieces of Golden's life including the crucible of her repressed childhood and discovery of photography and art as a method to deal with the world, her life and growth as a woman and artist in the transgender communities in New York and the post-punk drug culture of the Bowery, and her recent activism against the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma for creating and marketing OxyContin despite knowing its highly addictive qualities (which was the original subject for the documentary which was expanded to be a larger look at Goldin's life).

Narrated by Goldin, the film is filled with an amazing amount of Goldin's photographs both showcasing her work and offering snapshots from different periods of her life, the people in it, and the trauma tied to so much of her life.

While the most constant thread in the film involves her crusade against OxyCotin, the backstory of Goldin's life, the suicide of her sister, friendships (including those she lost to the AIDS epidemic), struggles, and art, helps frame Goldin and the events which led her to both art and activism. There are also several interviews throughout the film, both from longtime friends of Goldin and members of Goldin's advocacy group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), and footage from protests and hearings tied to opioid addiction.

Overbrimming with both rage and loss, Laura Poitras' latest film continues to peel back layers of Goldin's life and tie the threads together with remarkable ease into a singular narrative, celebration of life, condemnation of death, and cry for justice. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed succeeds in both revealing a deeply personal tale of an artist and highlighting the issues which continues to drive her to this day.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
  • IMDb: link

No comments: