Italian Filmmaker and Palme d'Or Winner Vittorio Taviani Dies at 88

February 2012 Italian director Vittorio Taviani gestures during a press conference for the film

Prize-winning Italian film director Vittorio Taviani has died at the age of 88. The siblings became household names in Italy in the 1960s and worked on more than 20 movies together including 1977 Palme d'Or victor Padre Padrone and docudrama Caesar Must Die, which won the Golden Bear for best film at Berlin in 2012. Known collectively as the Taviani Brothers, they won Europe's top cinema prizes, including the Palme d'Or in 1977 for Padre Padrone, the true story of Gavino Ledda, the son of a Sardinian shepherd who escaped a violent childhood by educating himself. In a statement, Italian president Sergio Mattarella called Taviani "a beloved protagonist of Italian cinema and culture" and said that the entire country is in mourning.

Their prison drama "Caesar Must Die", a docu-drama in which murderers and mafiosi acted out a Shakespearean tragedy in a high-security Italian jail, won the Golden Bear award for best picture at the Berlin film festival in 2012. Most recently, previous year they released Rainbow: A Private Affair in 2017 and Wondrous Boccaccio in 2015.

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The pair developed a unique working relationship, taking turns to direct individual scenes in their films and never interfering when the other was in charge.

Born in San Miniato, Tuscany, on Sept 20, 1929, Taviani died in Rome after suffering from a long-term illness.

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