All Beauty and Bloodshed Review: Winner of the 2022 Golden Lion Award

Sometimes the same is true for documentary filmmakers in relation to strikers: the main thing is that you are in the right place at the right time – and if you just have to point the camera at it or put your foot to score a goal, then work there is still complete satisfaction! This is what happened to the documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras of the program “Citizenfour”, for which she was awarded the Oscar in 2015: the American was given a unique opportunity to participate in top-secret meetings between whistleblower Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald. To be out there in a hotel room in Hong Kong – and it certainly turned the ball into one of the most important documentaries of the past decades!

After the well-deserved Oscar for “Citizenfour” he was there for “All the money and bloodshedNow the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival – who opposed Poitras after all glamorous names like Darren Aronofsky (“Whale”), Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees Of Inisherin”), Andrew Dominik (“Blond”) or Alejandro G) can reign supreme. Inarritu (“Pardo, the invented record of a handful of facts”). It is true that it often happens that a single documentary film triumphs over the feature film competition in a competition—think, for example, of “Fahrenheit 9/11″ in Cannes, or” Sevoir” in Berlin or “other Rome” also in Venice…

…but beyond that competitive advantage, Poitras and her film are simply deserving of the award! Certainly, the opioid crisis in the United States is once again a highly explosive topic that leaves no one indifferent and the director can be confident of the very broad support for it from the start. But unlike in “Citizenfour,” where “that” was actually more than half the battle, in “All The Money and The Blood Was Shed,” “How” is particularly compelling—because the approach of Poitra, the billionaire Sackler family by way of Processing The story of artist and activist Nan Goldin turns out to be as complex as it is powerful.


Nan Golden started her now international career in the early 1970s.

The works of the famous portrait artist Nan Goldin hang in almost all major museums and galleries in the world. Meanwhile, Sackler’s name can be found in many of these cultural temples, from MOMA in New York to the National Gallery in London – the name of a family association that has grown in assets by billions over the past few decades, primarily using addictive painkillers like OxyContin , while trying to whiten himself a bit by passing blood money to cultural institutions. Since 2017, Goldin, who has always been an activist, has been fighting with her self-founded interest group Pain Against the machinations of the Sackler clan…

…and primarily aims to remove the family name from public places. Time and time again, there are attention-grabbing campaigns like the one at MOMA in New York, where Pain– Members not only use the iconic spiral corridor to flood the entire museum with fliers, but also play in a sea full of empty disc chests. But where does this motivation and fighting spirit come from? The answer to this can be found not only in Golding’s addiction to painkillers, but in general in her family, the artist and her life story, which “All The Beauty and The Bloodshed” also constantly tells.

At first there is a shock…

Laura Poitras tells us all the things we need to know to make a Nan Goldin jigsaw puzzle ourselves – and without smearing the “solution” on our faces. However, the similarities between her artistic work and her activist work are very clear – because both arose from a deep trauma: her best work in photography, the slide show “The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency”, for example, emerged from a deep conflict with her bourgeois parents ( Her older sister committed suicide after being repeatedly thrown into psychiatric hospitals for being a “rebel,” while Nan “only” ended up in foster care).

Her activism was also born out of pain – the pain of watching her friends sweep through the AIDS virus, the heartache of her addiction to OxyContin sold as harmless (and now harmless) led to nearly half a million deaths and consequently to the A real addiction epidemic in the United States). Precisely because “All Beauty and Blood” isn’t told in a strict chronological fashion, but repeatedly jumps between Golding’s life story and her current struggle, and the result is a stunningly cohesive, multi-layered picture, but one that’s also incredibly powerful.

One soon felt that Nan Golding should not be tampered with. Pain and trauma are powerful factors. Still, there is a clear sense of David versus Goliath there, especially early on, when he was Pain– The members start one activity after another, while the members of the Gray Bagler band remain in the background with their billions in the bank and their family name on museum signs. But the award with the Golden Lion surely also has to do with the fact that the juries about Julianne Moore wanted to reward not only the film but also the hero – and without spoiling too much: one comes – especially in light of the fierce subject – but with a wonderful sense of cinema!

Synopsis: A painful and shocking family history, an inspiring artist biography and an exciting activity photo feed each other here! Sometimes it can feel like watching two or three movies at the same time – but they are so stimulating and pinning on each other in such a pointy way that “all beauty and bloodshed” ends up being more powerful!

We saw All The Beauty And The Bloodshed at the Venice Film Festival, where it had its world premiere and also eventually won the Golden Lion for Best Film in the competition.

Leave a Comment