Italian jail-set docu-drama wins Berlins Golden Bear
The octogenarian Italian film-making brothers, Vittorio and Paolo Taviani, have won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival for their docu-drama, Caesar Must Die.
The film follows a group of real-life convicts who are rehearsing for a performance of Julius Caesar at their prison, with their own crimes giving resonance to the play.
Accepting the prize, eighty year old Paolo Taviani said he hoped the film would make cinema-goers realise that even prisoners serving life sentences remain human beings.
Vittorio, who’s eighty two, read out the names of some of the inmates involved in the film.
Caesar Must Die was a well received film, but some critics saw it as a safe or conservative choice to receive the Berlinale’s award.
The jury, headed by the British director Mike Leigh, gave it’s Grand Prix runner-up prize to Just the Wind, a drama by Bence Fliegauf, inspired by killings of Roma in Hungary.
The Silver Bear for best actress went to fourteen year old Rachel Mwanza, for her debut role, in War Witch, about the recruiting of child soldiers in an African state.
The best actor prize went to Denmark’s Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, for A Royal Affair, which also took the best screenplay honour.
Germany’s Christian Petzold won the best director prize for Barbara, about a woman plotting to escape communist East Germany.
Meryl Streep was given a Golden Bear for in recognition of her career’s work.