Winner of the Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear, Caesar Must Die is the latest offering from filmmaking brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. Inventive and beautifully composed, the film centers on a prison production of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Like many films of its kind, Caesar Must Die takes the audience from auditions to rehearsals to the actual performance on stage. What sets the cast of this play apart, however, is that it consists entirely of inmates from Rebibbia Prison in Rome. The actors are all criminals convicted of serious crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.
Shakespeare’s themes of power, loyalty, betrayal, honor, and revenge infuse the play, and also the film. The complex connection between life and art is ever present, and as the inmates get deeper into the production, they begin to recognize personal failures and successes, bringing new meaning to many of their lives.
Described by Time Out London as “humane, intelligent, and affecting,” Caesar Must Die is considered one of the Tavianis’ most significant films, a captivating work resonant with tragedy and triumph.
Tickets available only through Houston Cinema Arts Society: online or at 713.222.5400. Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the MFAH the night of the screening.