Archive of films Caesar Must Die / Cesare deve morire

2012, 76 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2012

An exciting drama-documentary from the octogenarian directing duo featuring a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at Rome’s toughest prison. Inmates were cast in all the roles, and this encounter with art changed many of their lives. The film took the Golden Bear this year at the Berlin IFF.


A performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar has just ended; the audience applauds, the lights dim, the actors depart. The doors to their cells close behind them: we are in Rome’s Rebibbia prison where Fabio Cavalli has staged a play starring the inmates. Honored with the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale, the octogenarian directing duo Paolo and Vittorio Taviani capture the entire production: inception, casting, rehearsals, and performance. Everything takes place within the walls of the prison, and although the movie makes but cursory mention of the offenses committed by the convicts who act the main characters, we learn a thing or two from their commentary and their mutual interaction. All in all, the project demonstrates the universal applicability of Shakespeare’s drama of friendship and betrayal, power, duplicity, and violence. "Since I’ve known art, this cell has turned into a prison,” says the actor playing Cassius, Cosimo Rega, who has written a book about his experiences.

About the director

Paolo (b. 1929) and Vittorio (b. 1931) Taviani are among the most highly-prized Italian filmmakers working today. Paolo studied art in Pisa while Vittorio studied law, then in 1954 they codirected the short San Miniato, luglio ’44. The directors have gained international accolades, above all for films leaning toward a sociopolitical critique: L´Italia non è un paese povero (1960), Un uomo da bruciare (1962), I sovversivi (1967), Sotto il segno dello Scorpione (1969), Allonsanfan (1973), Padre padrone (1977), Il prato (1979), The Night of Shooting Stars (La notte di San Lorenzo, 1982), Chaos (Kaos, 1984), Good Morning, Babylon (1986), The Sun Also Shines at Night (Il sole anche di notte, 1990), Fiorile (1992), Elective Affinities (Le afinità elletive, 1996), You Laugh (Tu ridi, 1999), Un altro mondo e possibile (2001), Luisa Sanfelice (2004), and Caesar Must Die (2012).


Artcam Films
Rašínovo nábřeží 6, 128 00, Praha 2
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 221 411 619
Fax: +420 221 411 699

Rai Trade
Via Umberto Novaro 18, 001 95, Rome
Tel: +39 063 749 8469
Fax: +39 063 751 6222

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Screenplay: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani volně na motivy hry Williama Shakespeara / freely based on William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar
Dir. of Photography: Simone Zampagni
Music: Giuliano Taviani, Carmelo Travia
Editor: Roberto Perpignani
Producer: Grazia Volpi
Production: Kaos Cinematografica
Cast: Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri, Antonio Frasca
Contact: Artcam Films, Rai Trade
Distributor: Artcam Films


Přemysl Martinek

Festival Organizer, Film Institution Rep.

Salvatore Striano



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