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Nan Goldin Documentary Nominated to Oscar

Laura Poitras’s film about photographer Nan GoldinNominated for Oscar for Best Documentary. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed examines Goldin’s personal life and career while following her work with Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (PAIN), an activist group she founded to fight the Sackler family and the opioid epidemic it largely engineered.

When she founded PAIN in 2017, Goldin had developed an addiction to OxyContin, the opioid produced and sold by the Sackler family’s giant Purdue Pharma (which both knew about and concealed the drug’s addiction risk). PAIN’s advocacy has brought into focus the Sacklers’ “toxic philanthropy,” much of which they poured into the art world. Goldin’s largely successful campaigns have pressured museums to reject Sackler donations and remove the disgraced family’s name from their galleries.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed mixes more contemporary PAIN footage with flashbacks centering Goldin’s personal biography and art. The result is a personal examination of the contradictions and swings of the artist’s life: from painful memories of loved ones lost to AIDS and drug abuse to glimpses of happiness, community, and belonging. As Dan Schindel notes in his reviewThe documentary can be found here HyperallergicGoldin is a documentarian by nature, making the film feel more like a personal memoir than a historical biographical. Goldin had even shot some of the footage she made with PAIN.

September All the Beauty and the Bloodshed wonIt was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, making this the second documentary to win the prize. Should the film secure an Oscar on March 12, it would mark Poitras’s second Academy Award win. She was awarded the 2015 Academy Award. wonBest Documentary to her Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour.

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