We’re back with another episode. In the first half hour, we chat about Russia and the war. The rest is about All The Beauty And The Bloodshed, the new Laura Poitras doc about Nan Goldin and her fight against the highly respected Sackler family — the drug dealers that unleashed the opioid epidemic and made billions hooking Americans on pills. Elite barbarity. I guess that’s the topic of this ep.
Want to know more? Check out previous episodes of The Russians.
A couple of notes.
Early on we talk about an intercepted phone call between a big Russian music producer and a former Russian billionaire Senator in which the two criticize Putin and his war effort from an elite Russian insider perspective. You can read a translated transcript of the call. We talked about Laura Poitras and her previous documentaries in our last episode — the one about Julian Assange. Listen to it here: Triple Threat: Three films about Julian Assange.
One thing that has always bothered me about Poitras’ filmmaking is how shallow it is. And this film, although good, is no different. The Sacklers are part of the whole soulless creation of modern suburban America and the mind-dulling drugs people need to survive this world. This is exactly the world that Nan Goldin and her East Village weirdos and misfits were trying to escape. So there was a perfect set up to explore something deeper, but that did not happen at all.