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MOVIES: All The Beauty and the Bloodshed - Review

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Perfect. The kind of ultimate champion of art that modern film is severely lacking; a documentary of how freedom and lack of censorship and the fight for justice are so intertwined - anchored around Nan Goldin, one of the most prominent and inspirational figures in the art world; and her fight against the Sackler family that took the battle grounds to museums and let the whole world know their greed and how they gained their finance, and the damaged their work caused.

It's a personal but deeply politically charged documentary - All The Beauty and the Bloodshed is one of the best to ever balance both angles; because how can you not be personal without being politically charged? The film feels angry; a rallying cry for liberation and a sense of freedom in an age of oppression - acting as not just a whistle stop tour through the LGBTQ+ community and its past - but also shedding light to issues in the present; with a stylish soundtrack and excellent, liberating usage of Goldin's photographs that hold nothing back. This is art as it should be - earnest, truthful and deeply honest.

Laura Poitras keeps herself out of the attention of the spotlight and that lies entirely on Goldin and her protest group of PAIN's shoulders. If anyone was in doubt as to the evils of the Sacklers; this documentary will convince you - the paranoia that PAIN felt when being followed by SUVs, but above all - what's most powerful is that this is just one of Goldin's many campaigns, many movements, many causes. It's just life for her: life goes on, people change, people adapt - fighting a cause before it was acceptable to do so, bringing light to a New York that wasn't commonly seen - the grit and the grime ever present, but beneath that a character: we think we know this story, but All The Beauty and the Bloodshed is it at its most truthful.

"when we eventually abolish the prison system the sackler family should be the last ones out" - is an effective condemnation of its antagonists - who we don't see until the third act of the film through a zoom call; which in itself is a noticeable horror of how much they were left unchecked for. It's a movie that really bears witness to their evil because of it, but also lets those whose stories were unheard tell them the way they were supposed to be.

Inspirational. Fearless. Revolutionary. Unlike so many films - actually relevant, and about fighting actual change in what amounts to a witness to the success of a grassroots activist movement across generations - the kind of stuff legends are made of, really.

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