All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (in-person only)

Dir: Laura Poitras



116 mins



Please note: This title will play in-person at National Science & Media Museum only.

Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, investigative filmmaker Laura Poitras’s (Citizenfour) devastating new film explores the life of seminal American photographer Nan Goldin, focusing on her efforts to hold the Sackler family – the owners of Purdue Pharma, the drug company most responsible for the staggering US opioid epidemic of recent years – to account.

More usually celebrated for her intimate, explicit, diaristic photographs of friends and lovers in the LGBTQ subcultures of 1980s-90s Boston and New York and the effects of the HIV/AIDS crisis, in 2017 Goldin began speaking about her terrifying experience with Purdue Pharma’s wildly successful painkiller OxyContin. Aggressively marketed by Purdue as non-addictive, the Sacklers not only ignored mounting evidence that OxyContin was, in fact, lethally addictive, but exploited its ruinous qualities for financial gains in a campaign of stunning amorality. Founding the organisation PAIN (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), Goldin began agitating, lobbying galleries and museums benefiting from Sackler money to disavow the family and its ill-gotten funds.

An unconventional biography, looping Goldin’s work and its themes in with her activism and personal history, and touching on issues including domestic violence and suicide as well as drug use, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is structured in chapters bookmarked by slideshows that recall her most famous work, ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’. Investigating the pain and dysfunction of Goldin’s upbringing, and the way in which her at times harrowing, at times ecstatic work, rooted in that initial trauma, has always sought to bring love and openness to its subjects, Poitras’s film reveals her as an artist who has continually operated on the margins, telling a moving story about how she navigates her relationship with America and looking at the ways in which its systems of power and profit interact with and exploit individual bodies and lives.

Booking Information


Altitude Film Entertainment


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