Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare transported to the prison cell, 17 Dec 2012
This review is from: Cesare Deve Morire (DVD)
This is a singularly intense, original film about the production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in Rome's high-security prison Rebibbia. The actors in the production are the prison's inmates - drug dealers, gang members, killers, and they play themselves in this film.

This is not an east film to pigeon-hole. On one level it is a film about the bleak reality of life in a high-security prison, with the actors, the inmates, searching for some kind of redemption through art, the only escape available from the squalor of prison life. On another level it's about Shakespeare's Julius Caesar itself, brought to life with an incredible intensity by the inmate actors. Some scenes take on an incredible resonance when performed in the high-security surroundings: the talk of betrayals and of deceit, of liberty, of plots and of killings, all seem so relevant to the prisoners themselves that the play itself takes on a new life in the prison surroundings.

The film follows the prisoners rehearsing for different key scenes from the play in various parts of the prison, in a very clever and artistically ingenious move. Betrayals and plots are planned in the prison's grim corridors and alleyways, Brutus and Mark Anthony stand in the middle of a sun-scorched basketball court to address the crowds cheering and shouting from their cell windows overlooking the court. The scenes are beautifully filmed, the use of black-and-white serving only to emphasize the hauntingly symmetric brutality of the prison buildings. The use of colour is reserved for scenes from the final showing of the production, showing art bursting out of the confines of a black-and-white prison existence.

All of the action occurs in just 76 minutes. We learn very little directly about the prisoners, a move which avoids the creation of much pity between the viewer and prisoners (who let's not forget are incarcerated for violent and unpleasant crimes), but which also gives the film a very focused feel, and keeps it absorbing all the way through. A few days after watching this film, I am still often thinking back to some of the scenes, and even feel like I have a deeper understanding of the play itself than I did before.

This film is creative, intense, beautifully filmed film, excellently acted, and one which I would particularly recommend to anyone who is passionate about cinema, theatre and art, the key themes of the film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.7 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
£10.55
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 51,518