Laura Poitras (‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’) describes the 1st time she came across Nan Goldin’s art [Exclusive Video Interview]

Before Nan Goldin was the subject of Laura Poitras’ documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” Poitras first learned about her when she was studying filmmaking in San Francisco and saw a copy of “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.” “I had a roommate who was a photographer, so she had one of the early editions and it was just mind-blowing. The intimacy, the rawness, the capturing of relationships and sexuality and the differences between genders,” she tells Gold Derby during our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video interview above).

When she actually got to experience Goldin’s art in-person, it became another incredible event for her. “It’s like she created this whole new visual storytelling, language and relationship. These were people she was friends and lovers with.”

SEE dozens of interviews with 2023 Oscar contenders

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” explores Goldin’s life and work as a visual artist while also chronicling her guerilla campaign to get art museums to stop taking funding from the Sackler family. The Sackler’s were the owners of Purdue Pharma, who manufactured OxyContin which is the drug at the center of the nation’s current opioid epidemic. Research has shown that the company’s owners knew of the drug’s addictive nature despite heavily marketing it as having none. The film is nominated for this year’s Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and has won a slew of prizes including the Golden Lion at last year’s Venice Film Festival. Poitras is already an Oscar winner in the category for the 2014 Edward Snowden doc, “Citizenfour.”

Finding the balance between telling the story of Goldin’s life as an artist and the story of her current activism was not an easy thing to find. Poitras was aiming to give the subjects an epic quality to them. “There’s something epic about this sort of decades of Nan’s life and her art and we wanted to cover a lot of time and have it feel big, almost operatic.” She gives credit to the three editors who helped put the movie together: Amy Foote, Joe Bini and Brian Kates, as well as another individual. “They were all incredible partners in creating this structure and then Nan herself. Once we had a rough cut, we brought her into the process.”

No matter what happens at this year’s Oscars, it’s pretty safe to say that it won’t be anywhere near as crazy as Poitras’s experience when she won for “Citizenfour.” “That year of doing that reporting, I was just holding my breath that everybody would stay out of jail, so to be nominated for an Oscar was really surreal but then also felt like protection.” She also managed to sneak Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, who the press had been desperately trying to find, into the ceremony and let her join the crew on stage when they accepted the award. “[She] goes up and nobody knows who she is, except the internet does. We went up, she was there, you see her in the photos and then she just disappeared back into the night after that.”

PREDICT the 2023 Oscar winners through March 12

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby