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In Rebibbia Prison in Italy, its inmate theatre program puts on a well received production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The film goes back several months earlier as the coordinators announces the play as the program's production of the year. With that project set, we see its creation as the cast is auditioned and selected for this artistic challenge. As they rehearse, the prisoners, many of whom are long termers and lifers for serious crimes, find that the classic play has both a striking resonance and contrast to their confined lives.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Perhaps its the beautiful rolling sound of the Italian dialogue telling the story of Julius Cesar that made this enjoyable at least to the auditory sense. Perhaps it was that the language was sometimes amended to be more modern and meaningful. Perhaps it was the explained parallels of some of the prisoners experiences that helped to make the context more understandable. No matter, it was a thoroughly great way to start the Sydney Film Festival. The fact that this was a script within a script set in a prison using some real life prisoners didn't detract from anything in this film for me - I go to the cinema generally looking for a story, a fabrication, an unreality dressed in reality. I liked the gritty black and white, the sub-line of the prison life and setting. Yes, perhaps a prisoner saying he now felt caged etc didn't have to be said because it was obvious, but all in all a very enjoyable watch. I was engaged and participating from beginning to end. For me, one of the better versions of Julius/Shakespeare and a nice twist on an old but everlasting story.
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