Laura Poitras’ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival

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Venice dares to do something rare – documentary honored by a woman

It is only the second time that a documentary has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. And only for the seventh time does the award go to a woman. Actor honors go to Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett and Colin Farrell.

The documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” by American director Laura Poitras has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. That was announced by the jury. The work is about the life of photographer Nan Goldin. This year’s Grand Jury Prize went to French actress Alice Diop for “Saint Omer”. Cate Blanchett and Colin Farrell were also honored.

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” follows Goldin’s family, her artistic endeavors and her struggle against the Sackler family, known for marketing the addictive drug Oxycontin and its sponsorship culture. Goldin himself depended on it. The 68-year-old became famous with intimate photos that deal with subjects such as sexuality, illness, desire or violence. “I think it’s a beautifully told story about a woman who felt excluded and who managed to make art out of it,” said jury chairwoman Julianne Moore after the award ceremony. The film tells “not only her story, but also the story of the opioid crisis in the United States. How a woman uses her power to effect change.”

Poitras, 58, is best known for ‘Citizenfour’, an Oscar-winning documentary about whistleblower Edward Snowden. Poitras is the seventh woman to win the Golden Lion since 1949. Even less often than the work of women, documentaries win the top prize at the film festival. Only Italian director Gianfranco Rosi had managed to do this before with “Sacro GRA” in 2013.

Imprisoned Iranian woman receives special prize from jury

This year’s Grand Jury Prize went to French actress Alice Diop for “Saint Omer”. In the drama, a woman named Rama (Kayije Kagame) follows the trial of a young woman for infanticide. She wants to turn it into a book project. As the process slowly unfolds, Rama, who is herself pregnant, is overcome with fears about her motherhood and worries about her own family history.


Blanchett provided the glamor during the ceremony.

(Photo: IMAGO/ZUMA thread)

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi in prison was honored with the special jury award for “No Bears”. The 62-year-old was arrested in Iran in July.

Italian director Luca Guadagnino received the Silver Lion for Best Director for “Bones and All” – a love story about two young cannibals. Lead actress Taylor Russell received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor.

The Best Actress award went to Cate Blanchett for her role in “Tár” (directed by Todd Field). She plays the fictional first chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra named Lydia Tár, whose life spirals out of control over allegations of abuse. Colin Farrell won the Best Actor award for The Banshees of Inisherin. In Martin McDonagh’s black comedy, he portrays the Irishman Pádraic, whose best friend to date, Colm, suddenly and for no reason decides to end their friendship. Completely annoyed, Pádraic tries to rekindle the friendship

The Venice Film Festival, which began on August 31, is one of the three most important in the world, alongside the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlinale. In this year’s competition, 23 works competed for the prizes.

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