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771 Ratings

Caesar Must Die

Cesare deve morire

Italy, 2012
  • Italian
  • English, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Turkish


The performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar comes to an end and the performers are rewarded with rapturous applause. The lights go out; the actors leave the stage and return to their cells. They are all inmates of the Roman maximum security prison Rebibbia.

Our take

Part documentary, part ode to the power of art, and perhaps the most unconventional Shakespeare adaptation ever made, the Taviani brothers’ exquisite Caeser Must Die won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Caesar Must Die Directed by Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

2012 | 2 wins including: Golden Bear (Best Film)



European Film Awards

2012 | 4 nominations including: Audience Award

The film demonstrates the possibility for art to literally overcome even the most cruel of human institutions: it’s a touching testament to the emancipatory urgency of freedom.
April 25, 2018
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[The Taviani brothers] bring Shakespeare’s drama into sharp focus. At 77 minutes the movie contains only the most crucial scenes from Julius Caesar, yet the Tavianis condense the play expertly, revealing the essence of each major character. What doesn’t come through in the dialogue is expressed by the prisoners’ faces and bodies. Hardened by years in jail, the men embody the cunning, duplicity, and violent instinct of Shakespeare’s conspirators.
March 21, 2013
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Wryly humorous touches abound. Chided by Cavalli for slowness, Rega responds: “I’ve been here 20 years and you say let’s not waste time!”… The Tavianis hardly need to emphasise the relevance of the play as a whole to current Italian politics; that, they most likely feel, is a given.
March 08, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    Brilliant performances by these condemned men, and an inspired film. I've read this play and seen it many times, but never with as much passion as these men who, like the characters they play, have little more to lose.

  • OFF_FRAME's rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    This strangely affecting retelling of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar via prison inmates is fresh, inventive, moving and relatively short at 73mins. It's a drama within a documentary and the text is given extra weight via the information provided for each characters real crimes & sentence. At times it feels like one of the golden era films with it's black & white rendering and stark prison background. 3.5 stars

  • Ouibonjour's rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    Clever in terms of concept and visual style but it failed to keep me engaged throughout. I cannot help but solely base my rating on comparison with some of their previous masterpieces.

  • lbunuel's rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    Since filmic "humanism" has become a commodity, filmmakers exploit all sort of fashionable techniques in order to display their moral uprightness. The Taviani brothers are no opportunists, and they're in it for real: the kind of humanity that seeps through Caesar Must Die is uncompromising. In an interplay between fact and fiction, stage and prison, they created one of the most humane films in recent memory.

  • Dogukan4Ever's rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    Tiyatro ruhunun her yerde ve herkeste bulunduğunun mükemmel bir örneği. Hapishane mahkumlarından oluşan bir tiyatro gösterisini konu alan bu film, Taviani kardeşlerin son dönemlerdeki başarılı örneklerinden. Filmdeki mahkumlardan Sezar rolünü oynayan kişinin bile oyun sonunda döneceği yer hücresidir. Aslında hayatta aynen böyledir. Ne kadar hükümdar olsak da, padişah olsak da gideceğimiz yer bellidir. İzlemelisiniz..

  • muh.'s rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    the movie inhabits the interstitial place between an adaptation and a fly-on-the wall documentary with caesar's death being its starting and ending point. the rehearsals move on from limited spaces of cells to hallways and prison yards building an analogy with the fate of brutus who can't deal with an overwhelming sense of guilt and seeing death as an only way out. something that the inmates can relate to.

  • ihor's rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    A poet is a liar as Plato claimed. The same can be said for any artist. What can those who have never experienced something like war actually know about it? As with the tradition of Italian neo-realism this film challenges the notion. The prisoners fully know the betrayal and the struggle for power. The boundaries of reality and art are challenged as the actors seem to be reliving their lives.

  •'s rating of the film Caesar Must Die

    I love the Tavianis. This is about a production of Julius Caesar in an Italian prison; they document it but are not the ones directing or producing the play. The prisoners are extraordinary in their roles. The secrets of their lives seem to lurk behind the characters they play and behind their intensely expressive faces. Would go well with the Danny DeVito movie "Renaissance Man".

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