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Synopsis: The theater in Rome’s Rebibbia Prison. A performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar has just ended amidst much applause. The lights dim on the actors and they become prisoners once again as they are accompanied back to their cells.


The warden and a theater director speak to the inmates about a new project, the staging of Julius Caesar in the prison. The first step is casting, a process both vivid and energetic. The second step is exploration of the text. Shakespeare’s universal language helps the inmate-actors to identify with their characters. The path is long and full of anxiety, hope and play. These are the feelings accompanying the inmates at night in their prison cells after each day of rehearsal.

Who is Giovanni, who plays Caesar? Who is Salavtore-Brutus? For which crimes have they been sentenced to prison? The film does not hide this.

The wonder and pride for the play do not always free the inmates from the exasperation of being incarcerated. Their angry confrontations put the show in danger. On the anticipated but feared day of opening night, the audience is numerous and diversified: inmates, actors, students, directors.

Julius Caesar is brought back to life, but this time on a stage inside a prison. It’s a success.


Documentary / Drama / Special Interest / Foreign Language





Run Time

76 minutes




Cosimo Rega (Cassio)
Salvatore Striano (Bruto)
Giovanni Arcuri (Cesare)
Antonio Frasca (Marcantonio)
Juan Dario Bonetti (Decio)
Vincenzo Gallo (Lucio)
Rosario Majorana (Metello)
Francesco De Masi (Trebonio)
Gennaro Solito (Cinna)
Vittorio Parrella (Casca)
Pasquale Crapetti (Legionary)
Francesco Carusone (Fortune Teller)
Fabio Rizzuto (Stratone)
Fabio Cavalli (Theatre Director)
Maurilio Giaffreda (Ottavio)

Directed by

Paolo Taviani
Vittorio Taviani

Produced by

Grazia Volpi

Edited by

Roberto Perpignani


Giuliano Taviani
Carmelo Travia


Simone Zampagni


Berlin International Film Festival - Germany - 2012

Golden Berlin Bear for Best Film (Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani)

Palm Springs International Film Festival - USA - 2012

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actor (Cosimo Rega, Giovanni Arcuri, Salvatore Striano)


Golden Globes - Italy - 2012

Best Film and Best Director


There's barely a wasted moment in the film, which runs a brisk 76 minutes - Peter Howell , Toronto Star

There's an intensity and emotional accuracy to the performances that's just stunning, particularly Striano's Brutus, as he longs for death and release. - Tom Long , Detroit News

The most gripping and brilliant Shakespeare production put on film since Laurence Olivier's Hamlet. - Hannah Brown , Jerusalem Post


Rotten Tomatoes - Certified Fresh! - [Rotten Tomatoes]

Country of Origin


Production Year


Aspect Ratio

1.85 : 1

Sound Mix

Dolby Digital


Red One MX, Zeiss Compact Prime Lenses

Official Website

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