Z

Z

DVD - 2009 | French | Widescreen edition
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The assassination of a Greek politician and doctor in the middle of a violent demonstration is mysteriously covered up by the military.
Publisher: [United States] : The Criterion Collection, c2009
Edition: Widescreen edition
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (127 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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n
Nursebob
Mar 29, 2019

“Any similarity to real persons and events is not coincidental, it is INTENTIONAL” blares an opening title card in Costa-Gavras’ angry political polemic based on a 1963 Greek assassination (though Greece is never mentioned), and he certainly wastes little effort trying to protect the identities of those involved. Opening with an agricultural seminar on how to eradicate crop mildew that suddenly turns into a right wing rant when an attending general takes the mic and likens leaf blight to the dangers of “commies” and long-haired radicals on a stable, god-fearing country, Costa-Gavras eschews subtlety and goes right for the jugular in a relentless broadside which casts its net from the nation’s highest office to the biased press to individual families whose political leanings are more related to selfish gain than any idealism. Quick staccato editing and jumping timelines alternate between tragedy and outrage with the occasional moment of sardonic farce providing a bit of levity such as when harried politicos try to bully their way past a phalanx of photojournalists. And throughout it all the director slowly builds his case, ending on a note of pure cynicism as an offscreen narrator critiques the resulting criminal trials and the wave of social sanctions which followed in their wake. Winner of 1968’s Best Foreign Language Oscar (and nominated for the coveted Best Picture category) "Z" contains an international who’s who of screen stars with standout performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant as the prosecutor, Pierre Dux as a blustering egotistical general, Renato Salvatori as a witless assassin, and Greek legend Irene Papas as the bereaved widow—her stone features and bedside anguish providing the film with extra ammo.

s
SusyHendrix
Feb 06, 2019

A fantastic political thriller that will leave you outraged. It has the feel of a documentary and a dark sense of humor that highlights rather than downplays the totalitarian horror on display.

m
ms_mustard
Aug 12, 2016

brave prosecutor vs. masters of disinformation!

a
akirakato
Apr 26, 2015

This is a 1969 political thriller directed by Costa-Gavras, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Vassilis Vassilikos.
The film presents a thinly fictionalized account of the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963.
With its satirical view of Greek politics, its dark sense of humor, and its downbeat ending, the film captures the outrage about the military dictatorship that ruled Greece at the time of its making.

1
1Maryam1
Mar 29, 2015

Excellent movie and a very beautiful sound track. I really enjoyed watching it.

s
StarGladiator
Oct 19, 2013

[Within the space of a year: Lumumba of the DRC, Diem of Vietnam, Kennedy of the USA - - both Diem and JFK did not want American troops in Vietnam, and Lambrakis of Greece - - a busy time for the CIA, unfortunately!]

A truly classic and chilling film about the assassination of political activist, Gregoris Lambrakis, in Greece in 1963. Should be required viewing in any history class.

a
AmyEighttrack
Jun 20, 2012

"Hailed as one of the greatest political thrillers ever made", it's based on the assassination of a left wing/democratic politician in Greece in 1963. There's a lot of real-life background about Greece's political climate in the post-WW II years in the extras and/or commentary.

d
dogan
Aug 10, 2010

Good film made me feel like I am observing all the situation in front of the screen. Criminal government was an important issue in Turkey too, still is. Law and justice can be dirty but still there are good ones who do the right thing.

n
NJW
Mar 17, 2010

Fantastic film. See this one and Missing -- they sure don't make them like this anymore. Solid Criterion release.

r
richseeger
Mar 03, 2010

This is powerful film-making. The director has a direct link to the unstable political history of Greece and, indeed, all of the portrayals and actions on screen are intended to evoke true events. Costa-Gavras also knew he was making a film, and to him that meant that it should entertain and resonate for years to come. This should be required viewing in high-schools.

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