Ben Oliver

Banner image for All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

It’s personal, I hate these people.
26 September 2023

A documentary about Nan Goldin, a photographer and activist, capturing scenes from her early life and footage of her latest war against the drug-peddling Sackler family.

Having just read Empire of Pain1 (and previously watched the TV show Dopesick), this documentary caught my eye. I would argue that for those interested in the opioid crisis, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is not required viewing.

However, as a documentary it’s essential viewing. Poitras juxtaposes the past and the present in a way that flows beautifully, making it look easy where it could have been very awkward.

It’s a masterful portrait of an artist and activist, and a testament to the good that can happen when the two worlds collide. It’s inspiring to see someone trying bring change on the world, trying to right a wrong in whatever way they can.