The documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras won, on Saturday September 10, the Golden Lion of the 79e Venice Film Festival for a film that highlights the journey of photographer Nan Goldin and her fight against opiates in the United States. At 58, the American director won her second major prize, after the Oscar for best documentary for Citizenfour (2015), directed alongside whistleblower Edward Snowden.
No shattering revelations this time in All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, but a journey through the life of Nan Goldin, a 68-year-old photographer known for her shots of the New York underground and who has seen so much death, from AIDS to the opiate crisis, her last fight. Because Nan Goldin has taken the lead in a David versus Goliath fight against the producers of opioid painkillers that have addicted and killed half a million Americans over the past two decades. The documentary returns to this at length: the photographer, having herself come close to death because of her addiction, put her notoriety at the service of the fight against the extremely wealthy Sackler family which produced Oxycodone.
Few documentaries are selected for the main international film festivals, although this genre has shown great vitality in recent years. In 2013, the Mostra had already rewarded a documentary, Sacro GRAby Gianfranco Rosi, around the ring road surrounding the city of Rome.
Australian actress Cate Blanchett won the Best Actress award for her role as a power-drunk bandleader in Tarby Todd Field.
Special Jury Prize to Jafar Panahi
Actress and feminist activist accustomed to juries and awards, Cate Blanchett, 53, is a polymorphic performer, capable of playing an elf princess (The Lord of the Rings), a KGB scientist (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) than large bourgeois (Blue Jasmine Where carol).
In Tar, Cate Blanchett, diaphanous face, plays an ultra-famous conductor, in a relationship with a violinist from her orchestra, who will be caught up in her past. A role that takes a complex look at the denunciation of harassment or the abuse of power by women over their subordinates, and echoes the commitments of the artist.
Fifteen years ago, she had already won the prize in Venice for I’m Not There of Todd Haynes, where she embodied, crossing the frontier of the genre, another musician, Bob Dylan.
Irish actor Colin Farrell won Best Actor for his role as a kind-hearted farmer in a dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin.
In front of the camera of his compatriot Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell, 46, shines in a parable about the violent end of a friendship in the bucolic setting of an isolated island in Ireland in the 1920s, at the time of the independance War. Martin McDonagh offers him in The Banshees of Inisherin a reunion with actor Brendan Gleeson, piecing together the comedy’s winning trio Kisses from Bruges (2008).
The Venice Film Festival also sent a political signal against censorship and Iranian power by awarding a special jury prize to Jafar Panahi, showing that it was not abandoning the director, imprisoned since July, to his fate. In his absence, the filmmaker was given a long standing ovation by the public in Venice, after the announcement of his award.
A major figure in Iranian cinema prevented by his imprisonment from coming to defend his film Bears don’t existJafar Panahi, 62, delivers a mise en abyme, that of a creator locked up in his own country, the better to denounce oppression.
The full list:
- Golden Lion for Best Film: All the Beauty and the Bloodshedby Laura Poitras (USA)
- Silver Lion, Grand Jury Prize and Future Lion, Best First Work: Saint Omerby Alice Diop (France)
- Silver Lion, prize for the best achievement: the Italian Luca Guadagnino for Bones and All
- Best Actress Award: Australian Cate Blanchett for her role in Tar by Todd Field
- Best Actor Award: Irishman Colin Farrell for his role in The Banshees of Inisherinby Martin McDonagh
- Marcello Mastroianni Award for Most Promising Actor or Female: Actress Taylor Russell for her role in Bones and Allby Luca Guadagnino
- Special Jury Prize: Bears don’t existby Iranian Jafar Panahi
- Best Screenplay Award: The Banshees of Inisherinby Irishman Martin McDonagh