Last night, I was supposed to meet a friend in Tacoma, Washington at The Grand Cinema to see the movie “42”. However, plans changed unexpectedly as traffic was unkind and we were delayed. Instead of being upset about missing the movie, and not waiting for the next showtime, we opted for the very next movie “whatever it was”. At the time, we didn’t realize that the movie we were going to see would be “Caesar Must Die” (Cesare deve morire), that it was part of a film festival with only one showing at The Grand, and that it was an Italian film about a theater program where prisoners learned and performed Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”.
It was awesome! … and I truly mean AWESOME. Not only did we see the genius of Shakespeare’s play of Julius Caesar and his murder (in Italian and with English subtitles), but throughout the film, we witnessed the miracle of what theater does in our lives, whether through observation as audience or participation in the production process. Based on a true story, it was clear that the men who portrayed Shakespeare’s iconic characters saw their lives reflected in the art. They “got it”, and lives changed.
Theater has the power to bring us into community, into harmony and to understand ourselves. This was never more evident in the story telling of this film … and I was never more uplifted than through this unexpected encounter with genius. Serendipitous too, it was Shakespeare’s birthday!
Here is a review from the New Yorker
If you have a chance, see it!!