Caesar Must Die
Caesar Must DieOriginal Title: Cesare deve morire
Director: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Italy | Italian
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