Cleopatra Goes to Prison

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In Caterina, Claudia Durastanti presents us with a Cleopatra for our times - no exotic queen courted by two lovers with the fate of an empire in their hands but a young would-be ballet dancer who now works in as a cleaner in a down-at-heel hotel. This is the Rome of the underclass, of illegal immigrants, gypsies and sex shops where life is a struggle for dysfunctional families and nothing comes easy, except disappointment.

Every Thursday Caterina visits her boyfriend Aurelio in Rebibbia prison in Rome, where, following a mysterious tip-off to the police, he is being held in custody under suspicion of pimping the strippers in the nightclub he was running. What would Aurelio say if he knew that she went straight from the prison to meet the policeman who arrested him, and who is now her lover?

CaterinaÔÇÖs life is difficult and her environment challenging but she is a survivor and takes everything life throws at her without complaint. Caterina is very much a heroine for our times.