My first festival film and one that seems to have produced a variety of responses.
The film is part scripted part documentary (you don't know which parts). It follows an acting troupe staging Julius Caesar, the twist they are from a maximum security prison in Italy.
Opening with segments from the actual stage performance that shows the capability of the cast we are transport sped back to the announcement.
From there we follow the cast through auditions, rehearsals, staging and costumes. Te strength is the play is reproduced throughout. Some scenes cleverly using the geography and architecture of the prison to enhance the drama.
The cast are excellent and the film brews with restrained physicality throughout as if something could happen at any opportunity. The lid of personal insight into the prisoners is lifted only for a moment and rapidly slammed back on by the other cast members. This allows you to glimpse their passion for theatre above other grievances.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film it was totally compelling 3.5/5.
Criticism from others included the lack of insight into the personal for the prisoners, which I felt was a strength. It wouldn't be a festival without divided opinion!