"Documentary is cinema," filmmaker Laura Poitras said when All the Beauty and the Bloodshed won the Golden Lion for Best Film at this year's Venice Film Festival, becoming only the second documentary in the festival's 79-year history to take home the top prize.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is a portrait of trailblazing photographer Nan Goldin and her activism against the Sackler family, major art world donors and the founders and owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. The film is told through Goldin's photography and rare footage of her fight to hold the Sacklers accountable for the ongoing opioid epidemic.
"My films tend to follow political issues. They tend to follow individuals who are leading an effort to fight for some notion of justice or accountability," says Poitras, who won the Oscar for Best documentary with 2014's Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden. "As Nan and I started doing these audio interviews at her house on the weekends usually, it became really emotionally deep really quickly,” said Poitras. “And that led to the other, more personal layer of the film."
In addition to premiering in Venice, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed screened at the Toronto Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and New York Film Festival. The film opens in New York on Nov. 23, Los Angeles on Dec. 2, and expands on Dec. 9. Watch the trailer below.