Follow Us on Twitter

Caesar Must Die wins Berlin's Golden Bear

Caesar Must Die

Story by Jack Foley

ITALIAN docu-drama Caesar Must Die has won the Golden Bear prize at the Berlin Film Festival (2012).

Directed by veteran brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, who rate among Italy’s most celebrated filmmakers, the film follows a group of real-life convicts as they rehearse for a prison performance of Julius Caesar.

Upon accepting the prize, 80-year-old veteran Paolo said: “We hope that when the film is released to the general public that cinemagoers will 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.”

His brother Vittorio, 82, read out the names of the inmates who took part in the film.

Although among the hot tips for success going into the festival, Caesar Must Die‘s win was still described as a major upset by some US trade publications.

Whether it can emulate the success of last year’s Golden Bear, Iranian film A Separation, which has since gone on to win several major awards and be nominated for best foreign language feature at next week’s Oscars, remains to be seen.

The runner-up prize was handed to Just The Wind, a film inspired by a spree of gypsy killings in Hungary.

Further prizes went to 14-year-old Rachel Mwanza, who was named best actress for her debut performance in War Witch (she hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo) and to Mikkel Boe Folsgaard (from Denmark), who was named best actor for his performance in costume drama A Royal Affair (which also won best screenplay).

German filmmaker Christian Petzold was named best director for Barbara, about a woman plotting to escape communist East Germany.