As a survivor of WWII, which will mark his life and work permanently, Hermann Nitsch is considered one of the most important contemporary artists in the world while his work continues to generate conflicting reactions for the use of blood and slaughtered animals. Born in Austria in 1938, he had to flee catholic persecutions. He is considered the founder of “Viennese Actionism” and is famous worldwide for his “Theatre of the Orgies and Mysteries”. Painter, writer, composer and performer, Nitsch is a “total” artist, unique and controversial; his work appears in some of the most important museums in the world including the Metropolitan and the MoMA in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and is featured in two museums entitled exclusively to him, within the museum centre Mistelbach and the Museo Hermann Nitsch in Naples. Thanks to Nitsch’s private and unpublished archives the documentary (filmed during more then one year, between Austria, Italy and Romania) is an intimate and unique portrait of his life, work and personality. An extraordinary journey that uncovers who Hermann Nitsch really is, not only as an artist, but most of all as a human being.


After seeing many of my exhibitions, visiting the museums in Mistelbach and Naples and reading my books, Daniela Ambrosoli decided to make a movie about me and my work. I believe she wanted to show the man behind the work. She was successful. The first time I saw the movie I was moved, and also surprised to see how old I’ve become. This film looks subtly at the sincere truth without any frills or formalisms. I feel understood, as a human being and as an artist.


Hermann Nitsch

I think that what Mrs. Daniela Ambrosoli is suggesting us with her intense effort is a journey through time and space. It’s not fantasy but a documentary (nothing more realistic then…), taking us in an abstract world of signs and symbols, into the realism of flesh, bodies and blood and with the force of its images and sounds goes back to the origins of supreme sacrifice that every great artistic work evokes and recalls.
This is the world of Hermann Nitsch, a damned and brilliant artist. Mrs. Ambrosoli’s documentary brings us closer to this world, almost lets us touch it through a storytelling that seems at times sweet and familiar, intimate and quiet yet always imbued with pain and revolt.



Film Director

A great artist like Hermann Nitsch is always a constellation of signs which give shape to a complex and intense work of art. With her movie, Daniela Ambrosoli shot on target and hit the essential core of Nitsch’s poetics. The movie is an aperture illuminating Nitsch’s iconographical universe which unites with his actions and paintings in an emotional short circuit between art and life, building a magnetic field of ritual gestures and formal discipline able to create a total scope of emotion and meditation on humanity. With this movie Ms. Ambrosoli restores an ecstatic and aesthetic moment of fruition and contemplation on the humane, very humane artist that is Hermann Nitsch.



Art Critic

Prof. Dr. Hermann Nitsch was and is a guiding intellectual force for all mankind. Only rarely are there people who have the gift and at the same time the stamina, understanding human condition from early childhood, to make it visible, audible and legible, which is really important in human life. This universal talent, coupled with an indispensable consistency, is a global social contribution, which is groundbreaking. With great respect for the complete work of Nitsch I bow with inner gratitude to his ability to make all the five senses visible and touchable. With the hope that many of us recognize that the state of intense being will be finally experienced, I am grateful for the birth of this film that will affect so many people.


Kulturvorsitzende Wien 1