Art News, Artists, Music and more!

Documentary On Anti-Sackler Protests Wins Big At Venice

A documentary by Loura Poitras, about the Nan Goldin protests against the Sackler family, wins the highest honor at Venice.

Titled “All The Beauty And The Bloodshed”, the documentary won the Golden Lion – the highest honor – at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. The event, held on Saturday, is a prestigious international film festival that honors various films, short films, and documentaries across the globe. Loura Poitras’s work is one of the few documentaries that have won the Golden Lion award at the festival.

The documentary essays the struggle and protests of activist Nan Goldin against the Sackler family. The Sacklers own Purdue Pharmaceuticals, one of the biggest pharma companies in the US. OxyContin, their flagship painkiller, was found to be highly addictive among users. Since its introduction, it is alleged to have caused addiction and withdrawal issues among thousands of people. The Sackler family is accused of aggressively marketing the product despite knowing its addictive nature.

Laura Poitras

Nan Goldin was one of its victims who suffered from substance abuse after OxyContin was prescribed to her post-surgery. Since recovering, Goldin and her group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) have strived to make the Sackler family accountable for their actions. One of her key agendas has to protest against galleries and museums that have been taking donations from the Sacklers even after the OxyContin debacle came to light. In recent years, Goldin successfully compelled many art institutes to cut ties with the Sackler family.

Speaking of Goldin, Poitras called her “courageous” and said she had “never met anyone like Nan”. Loura Poitras is an acclaimed documentary maker, with her documentary Citizenfour (2014), essaying the actions of whistleblower Edward Snowden, was met with critical acclaim and won the Oscar.