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ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED

Director: Laura Poitras

113 mins, USA, 2022, Digital, F-Rated

Artist Nan Goldin’s pioneering campaign to hold the Sackler family, the dynastic billionaire founders of Purdue Pharma, producer of OxyContin, accountable for the opioid crisis is explored in Oscar-winning director Laura Poitras’s absorbing documentary, winner of the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Always an uncompromising and disruptive force on the American contemporary art scene, Goldin now uses her hard-won profile and respectability to attack the institutions that support her, the prestigious art galleries that accept endowments from the Sacklers, in effect permitting the family to launder their reputation by branding galleries. Poitras elegantly weaves a dual narrative, alternating details of Goldin’s early life and growth as an artist with the progress of her current campaign; the artist speaks candidly of her time as a sex worker, and her substance abuse which culminated with an addiction to OxyContin.

Notes by David O’Mahony

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