It is ironic that CAESAR MUST DIE is set in a prison, as it is a crime this won the Golden Bear. Even at only 76 minutes there was so little material that the opening five minutes or so was repeated at the end. The story is part of a long line in movies about putting on productions, such as SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and HAMLET 2. Set in Rebbibia Prison, High Security Wing, Italy, we follow the inmates preparing a production of JULIUS CAESAR. The audience are members of the public. It takes six months. Scenes are performed around the building. The final production is seen in colour, the rest in black and white, bar one moment, when in the library a convict looks at a photo of the sea. That is the one touch I really liked, referring to art as a liberator. However, that message is then hammered home at the end with a clear explanation.
Here was an opportunity to shed light on incarceration and/or Shakespeare’s work. CAESAR MUST DIE does neither. This is amateur hour; like a school play. The only question of note posed was: Are the actors worse off once their play has been performed?