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Caesar Must Die

Caesar Must Die

Original Title: Cesare deve morire
Director: Paolo TavianiVittorio Taviani
Italy | Italian
2012 | 76min. | Colour
Subtitles: English
Format: DCP
15+
A stage performance ends; the house lights go up and the cast take their bows. This ritual is suddenly shattered by the actors’ wild cheers, with the audience echoing their raucous celebratory noise. The scene appears to be just another theatrical production… until the performers return to their cells and resume their regular roles as inmates of Rebibbia, Rome’s maximum-security prison. Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, the award-winning octogenarian brothers who have worked as a writing/directing team for more than 50 years, were inspired when they attended a production of Dante’s Divine Comedy at Rebibbia: “We felt the need to discover through a film how the beauty of their performances was born from those prison cells, from those outcasts that live so far from culture.' They arranged to film inside the penitentiary with a troupe of convicts – murderers, drug traffickers, mafiosi – all speaking in their own dialects.

There was never a question of which play to choose: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The Tavianis believed its themes of power, betrayal, doubt, friendship and freedom as enacted by the prisoners would lead them to discover inner truths. Situated between a documentary and an arthouse film, a simplified narrative was scripted with excerpts matching the convicts’ stories. Despite the confinement there is a palpable sense of freedom thanks to the dynamic compositions (in both colour and majestic black and white) and the energy of the editing. The film won the Golden Bear at the 2012 Berlinale.

– Cynthia Rowell

Director,  Paolo Taviani, 

Director,  Paolo Taviani

Paolo and Vittorio Taviani are brothers from Tuscany who have always made films together, starting out with the documentary Italy Is Not a Poor Country (1960), produced with Joris Ivens. Their first solo film was The Subversives (1967). They won the Palme D’Or and the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes for Padre Padrone (1977) as well as the Grand Jury Prize for The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982).

Vittorio Taviani

Vittorio Taviani

Cast and Crew

Director
Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Cast
Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri, Antonio Frasca, Juan Dario Bonetti, Vincenzo Gallo
Production Company
Kaos Cinematografica in association with Stemal Entertainment
Music
Giuliano Taviani, Carmelo Travia, Goffredo Gibellini
Producer
Agnese Fontana, Grazia Volpi
Executive Producer
Donatella Palermo
Screenwriter
Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, Fabio Cavalli
Editor
Roberto Perpignani
Cinematographer
Simone Zampagni
Sound
Benito Alchimede
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