Arts & Entertainment

Documentary receives top prize at Venice Film Festival

By Alicia Garcia de Francisco

Venice, Sep 10 (EFE).- For only the second time in 79 years, the Venice Film Festival bestowed its highest honor Saturday on a documentary, as a jury led by Julianne Moore presented the Golden Lion to Laura Poitras of the United States for “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.”

The third consecutive female winner of the Golden Lion, depicts the opioid crisis through the eyes of photographer Nan Goldin, who chronicled the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and was inspired to become active on the opioid issue after recovering from an addiction to painkillers prescribed for a wrist injury.

Poitras’ 2014 film about Edward Snowden, “Citizenfour,” won the Oscar for Best Documentary.

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” was a surprising choice for the Golden Lion and Moore acknowledged afterward that none of the awards was decided by a unanimous vote.

Even so, Moore said that she and the other members of the jury – Mariano Cohn, Leonardo di Costanzo, Audrey Diwan, Leila Hatami, Kazuo Ishiguro and Rodrigo Sorogoyen – were “satisfied and proud” of the results.

The festival’s second-highest distinction, the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize, went to “Saint Omer,” Alice Diop’s depiction of the true story of a young Senegalese woman convicted in France of murder after abandoning her 15-month-old baby on the beach as the tiding was coming in.

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, currently behind bars in his country, received moral support in the form of the Special Jury Prize for his latest work, “No Bears.”

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” which was well-received at the festival, came away with two prizes. Martin McDonagh was recognized for Best Screenplay and Colin Farrell won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor.

Farrell, who accepted the prize by video-link from Los Angeles, thanked the jury and praised the work of fellow cast member Brendan Gleeson.

As expected, Cate Blanchett picked up the Volpi Cup for Best Actress on the strength of her performance as an orchestra conductor in “Tar.”

It was the Australian’s second Volpi Cup, as she won in 2007 for her portrayal of Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There.”

The Silver Lion for Best Director went to Luca Guadagnino for “Bones and All,” whose lead actress, Taylor Russell, won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor. EFE agf/dr

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