Caesar Must Die
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaolo Taviani
Vittorio Taviani
Screenplay byPaolo Taviani
Vittorio Taviani
Based onJulius Caesar
by William Shakespeare
Produced byGrazia Volpi
StarringSalvatore Striano
Cosimo Rega
Giovanni Arcuri
Antonio Frasca
CinematographySimone Zampagni
Edited byRoberto Perpignani
Music byGiuliano Taviani
Carmelo Travia
Rai Cinema
La Talee
Stemal Entertainment
Distributed bySacher Distribuzione
Release dates
  • 11 February 2012 (2012-02-11) (Berlin)
  • 2 March 2012 (2012-03-02) (Italy)
Running time
75 minutes[1]

Caesar Must Die (Italian: Cesare deve morire) is a 2012 Italian drama film directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. The film competed at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival[2] where it won the Golden Bear.[3][4] The film is set in Rebibbia Prison (suburb of Rome), and follows convicts in their rehearsals ahead of a prison performance of Julius Caesar.[3]



Caesar Must Die won the Golden Bear at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2012 where British director Mike Leigh led the judging panel. The Hollywood Reporter described the outcome as "a major upset". Der Spiegel said it was a "very conservative selection".[3] Der Tagesspiegel criticised the outcome, saying that the "jury shunned almost all the contemporary films that were admired or hotly debated at an otherwise pretty remarkable festival".[5] The film was also selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.[6]

Critics praised the use of actual prisoners in the film, saying it brought a higher intensity to the piece.[3] Filmed largely in black-and-white, it has been described as a "deeply humanist film" that "blends gentle humour with an emotional punch".[5] Paolo Taviani said that he hoped moviegoers would "say to themselves or even those around them... that even a prisoner with a dreadful sentence, even a life sentence, is and remains a human being". Vittorio Taviani read out the names of the cast.[3]

At Metacritic, the film was given a rating of 76/100 based on 12 critics, which evaluates as generally favorable reviews[clarification needed][7]

See also


  1. ^ "'Caesar Must Die". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Press Release, 9th Jan". 9 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Jail docu-drama Caesar Must Die wins Berlin award". BBC News. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Prizes of the International Jury 2012". Berlinale. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Critics lament conservative winner at edgy Berlin film fest". Expatica. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  6. ^ "L'Italia candida agli Oscar il film dei fratelli Taviani". Gazzetta di Parma. Gazzetta di Parma. 26 September 2012. Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Caesar Must Die". Retrieved 17 February 2013.