There are a couple of ways to stage Shakespeare: You can keep it true to the setting and dialogue of the original text or you can take the story (and maybe the script as-is) and give it new meaning simply by changing the time and place. Caesar Must Die goes the second route, clipping bits and pieces of Julius Caesar into the story of a production of that play by inmates at an Italian prison. Rehearsals, such as they are, generally involve the actors quietly learning lines in their cells or, when they’re allowed, during group activities. It’s a terrifically inventive update, one that really only lacks production values. Shot in (or transferred to) black and white, the look of Caesar Must Die isn’t as dramatic as a grayscale prison might seem. But that’s a minor hiccup for Shakespeare fans, who will surely enjoy the clever adaptation.
Director: Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani
Producer: Agnese Fontana, Cecilia Valmarana, Grazia Volpi, Donatella Palermo and Laura Salerno
Cast: Salvatore Striano, Cosimo Rega, Giovanni Arcuri, Antonio Frasca and Juan Bonetti