In the framework of her master thesis, the author examined and documented a uniquely tinted and toned nitrate print of the early color film Opium (Robert Reinert, 1918/1919), and considered ethical, theoretical and practical aspects of today’s film restoration practice. This paper presents some crucial results of the research and documentation process underlying the work. The study begins with a reflection upon concepts and notions commonly used in analogue and digital approaches to film preservation and restoration. It then explains the ongoing relevance of the vocabulary and collaborative practice of the so-called Scuola Bolognese. In the second section, these ideas and concepts are applied to a case study of Robert Reinert’s Opium while offering insight into the fascinating engagement with film and non-film material and with the question of what film scholars and archivists can learn from a film (print)’s material history.