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Caesar Must Die(Cesare deve morire)

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Italy · 2012
1h 16m
Director Vittorio Taviani
Starring Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri, Antonio Frasca
Genre Drama, Documentary

Winner of the Golden Bear at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival, Caesar Must Die, the scripted documentary shows inmates at a prison in Rome rehearsing for a performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

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What are critics saying?


Slant Magazine by

Deceptively modest on nearly all accounts, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Caesar Must Die employs seemingly minor directorial contrivances to ruminate on a unique quarrel.


NPR by Bob Mondello

The Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, have been blurring the line between reality and fiction in their films for six decades.


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

This is a looser, grittier film than their work of late, and while it’s more successful in the sequences of bold theatricality than in the faux-cinéma vérité of the surrounding scenes, the mix is nonetheless an interesting one.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

Though the Tavianis’ intent is clear—to comment on the thin line separating part and performer, as well as on the quite literally liberating powers of art—the meanings rarely emerge with any elegance or resonance. Hardly a dish fit for the gods.


The New York Times by Manohla Dargis

There’s an elemental, almost primitive quality to the Tavianis’ condensing that, at its most effective, dovetails with the prison’s severely circumscribed material reality, as if the high walls, barred windows and suffocating rooms were manifestations of the characters’ states of mind.


Village Voice by Nick Pinkerton

Almost as much as the play itself, the rehearsals are staged; the inmates learning to act, then, are acting like inmates who are learning to act. This leads to some on-the-nose scenes in which they observe the parallels between the text and their own lives.


The A.V. Club by Noel Murray

In Caesar Must Die, the characters are both actor and audience, looking at themselves through the lens of a centuries-old fictionalization of history.

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