Italian prison drama ‘Ceasar Must Die’ takes top prize at Berlinale

An Italian film showing inmates staging "Romeo and Juliet" at a high-security Rome prison won the top award at the acclaimed Berlinale Film Festival in Germany today, AFP reported.

Award-winning Italian directors Paolo, 80, and Vittorio Taviani, 82, received the festival's coveted Golden Bear award for their black-and-white drama "Ceasar Must Die" at the festival event in Berlin.  

The two brothers thanked the international jury, this year headed by British director Mike Leigh, and offered their best wishes to the Rebibbia prison inmates featured in their pseudo-documentary film, the Boston Globe reported

AFP quoted Paolo Taviani as saying he hopes the film reminds audiences "that even a prisoner with a dreadful sentence, even a life sentence, is and remains a human being."

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The prize is Italy's first Golden Bear since Marco Ferreri's 1991 winner "The House of Smiles."

Other awards went to Bence Fliegauf, whose "Just the Wind" film focused on the targeted killings of Roma in 2008 and 2009 and Rachel Mwanza of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who was awarded the Silver Bear for her role as a child soldier in the drama "War Witch." 

Variety noted that another black and white drama, the film "Tabu" by Portuguese director Miguel Gomes, was handed the Alfred Bauer Prize for works of "particular innovation," a distinction Gomes joked he didn't understand being given to such "an old-fashioned film."

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