Why You MUST Watch Caesar Must Die!

There are two outstanding events that shaped a personal Italian renaissance for me in 2012. One was interviewing the great Nanni Moretti in his office, after having been mesmerized by his latest film We Have a Pope at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The other was watching the Taviani brothers’ Caesar Must Die at the Nuovo Sacher in Rome, on a balmy Sunday afternoon, and being so absorbed that I never once regretted foregoing the glorious sun shining outside for the cool, dark cinema hall.

Incidentally, both of those incredible experiences ended up being courtesy of Moretti, who not only owns the Nuovo Sacher in Rome’s cool neighborhood of Trastevere but also believed so strongly in Caesar Must Die that he picked up distribution rights in Italy through his Sacher Distribuzione and in so doing, turned the film’s destiny downside up.

2013-02-04-2012031117.23.jpg Before Moretti, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani had struggled with finding a distributor who would give their return to filmmaking, after five years of absence, a chance. Yes, the very masters whose best known Padre Padrone is still considered one of the cornerstones of Italian cinema, had been ignored by the often short-sighted distributors in a country that once ruled the culture of movies. Caesar Must Die of course then went on to win the Golden Bear at last year’s Berlinale, cementing Moretti’s artistic visionary status, as well as the film’s great, contemporary value.


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