Everyone mad about Taviani, despite the Germans’ disappointment
by Vittoria Scarpa
20/02/2012 - The disapproval of some of the German press with theTaviani brothers’ victory in Berlin does not snuff out the enthusiasm of Italian public figures and institutions for the important recognition for domestic cinema received last Saturday on the closing night of the 62nd Berlinale. If for the weekly Der Spiegel the Golden Bear for Caesar Must Die [trailer, film focus] is the “wrong” choice and one that is “very conservative in a competition packed with young and politically engaged films”, Screen Daily, which puts together the reviews of a few international critics accredited to the Berlin Film Festival, labelled it as “excellent”. The film had placed itself behind the favourite, Christian Petzold’s Barbara, in the votes of eight papers, including Germany’s Tagesspiegel and Britain’s Sight & Sound. Cinema bible Variety defines it “intriguing and effective” while for The Hollywood Reporter it is “fascinating encounter between theatre and reality.”
It is a great satisfaction for the Minister for Cultural Goods and Activities, Lorenzo Ornaghi: “It is a real pleasure to see the talent and the poetry of two undisputed masters of Italian cinema being confirmed on an international scale. This award is a signal of optimism for the whole country, an invitation to continue in the efforts to re-launch a positive cycle.”
Caesar Must Die’s victory is also a matter of pride for Carmelo Cantone, director of the Rebibbia prison, where the film was shot: “A unique experience. We weren’t expecting as big a success, even though for several days we had been aware of the critical consensus over the film […] We witnessed that the theatrical workshop is a good tool to use in the rehabilitation of detainees”. And let’s remember that the prisoners were at the centre of the Taviani’s thanks: “I hope that on the way home after watching Caesar Must Die someone will think that even a prisoner, who is serving a serious sentence, is and remains a human being'', Vittorio Taviani remarked on receiving the Golden Bear, not won by Italy since 1991. “It is in fact to them that our thoughts go, while we are here under all these lights, they are in the solitude of their cells. And so I say thank you to Cosimo, Salvatore, Giovanni, Antonio, Francesco and Fabione'', his brother Paolo added.
(Translated from Italian)