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Caesar Must Die (2012)
"Cesare deve morire" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  2 March 2012 (Italy)
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Inmates at a high-security prison in Rome prepare for a public performance of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."


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In Rebibbia Prison in Italy, its inmate theatre program puts on a well received production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The film goes back several months earlier as the coordinators announces the play as the program's production of the year. With that project set, we see its creation as the cast is auditioned and selected for this artistic challenge. As they rehearse, the prisoners, many of whom are long termers and lifers for serious crimes, find that the classic play has both a striking resonance and contrast to their confined lives. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

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Release Date:

2 March 2012 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Caesar Must Die  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Paolo and Vittorio Taviani heard about the prisoners acting program and contacted Fabio Cavalli with the idea of doing Shakespeare's play and shot the whole experience. See more »


Featured in Film 2015: Episode dated 27 February 2013 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

great acting
29 February 2012 | by (mexico) – See all my reviews

Six years on from The Lark Farm, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani found in stage productions of the Roman prison inmates Rebibbia energy and the urge to get back behind the camera and make a new film. They wrote and directed and produced within the Roman prison facility and with the same group of actors-prisoners.

Only apparently docudrama, but in reality almost entirely representation, Caesar must die tells the staging of "Julius Caesar" by Shakespeare, who are leaving very little overlap between the preparation of the play and the play itself, the express wish to amplify the most painful and intimate adhesion of the detainees to their characters and feelings they carry. The films of the Taviani can undoubtedly convey the strength and passion of surprising interpretations, and is able to find moments of clear staging with a charm that builds on the context, but transcends it. Unfortunately, however, is also weighed down by an idea of ​​cinema out of date and time.

The intensity of black and white "Giulio Cesare" acted within the walls of prison, goes limp, in fact, when the Taviani brothers - who, caught between themselves and Bertold Brecht were unwilling or able to give up the script, or embrace moments of pure documentation - they feel heavy and intrusive outside their hand. When they try to break the scene with a background, however artificial and, therefore, artificial. The illusion of reality sought by directors does not take off then ever, and breaks the suspension of disbelief achieved in staging Shakespeare. Worse still surrounds the operation with a sort of condescending paternalism that file the roughness, the personalities, the possibilities.

Why show "faking" two prisoners who bicker "really", another unable to take part in the tests because they tried to interview, one imagines the arrival of women in the theater or another that says, reciting, that "by when he met the art cell has become a real prison, "is frankly disturbing and morally objectionable, because it becomes another cage that imprisons artistic protagonists.

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