All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
The Oscar-nominated documentary looks at the life, art and activism of Nan Goldin illustrates the power of greed and the lessons in survival.
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Layered in between the photographs of her life are the stories behind the woman taking on one of America's wealthiest families. Nan Goldin's mission? To dismantle the Sackler family dynasty. As a survivor of opioid addiction, she's intent on getting the world's largest museums, including the MET, Louvre, and Guggenheim, to remove the Sackler name from their exhibits and refuse their donations.
Every day 200 Americans die from opioids, and half a million lives have been lost to the crisis. The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, maker of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, and strategized to sell their opioids through deceptive marking campaigns that minimized the health risks of opioids. The family took in $10 billion in profits from the drug.
The two-hour documentary includes six chapters exploring seasons of Goldin's life: her childhood in foster care, the profound impact her sister's suicide had on her, her passion for photography, surviving in seedy New York clubs, and the relationships and friendships that impacted her along the way.
Throughout her ups and downs, Goldin returns to confront her parents' lack of empathy for her sister's well-being, from committing her to an asylum to their overall need to disassociate themselves from any responsibility for their daughter's suffering.
Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, the film swings from past to present, showing the activist's roots and her current fight for justice. The more emotionally charged scenes engage Goldin's ground-breaking photography as a backdrop for her battle to expose the impact of AIDS on the LGBTQ community.
In the documentary's final scenes, the Sacklers face the families who've lost their loved ones to the opioid crisis. In a revolutionary win, museums begin to refuse the family's donations, and the Louvre and MET remove the Sackler name from their galleries.
Artistic and incendiary, "All the Beauty and the Bloodshed" illustrates the power of greed and the lessons in survival.
Now playing at Kan-Kan Cinema in Indianapolis and other select cities.