Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles.

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(novel) (as Vassili Vassilikos),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Z
...
Hélène
...
...
...
...
Le procureur
...
Georges Géret ...
Nick (as Georges Geret)
Bernard Fresson ...
...
Vago (as Marcel Bozzufi)
...
...
La soeur de Nick
...
Yago
Habib Reda
Clotilde Joano ...
Shoula (as Clotilde Joanno)
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Storyline

In a mid-sized metropolis (population 500,000) in a right-wing military led country, a pacifist organization, which supports the opposition party in the government, is planning on holding an anti-military, nuclear disarmament rally. The organization's charismatic leader - the deputy - is scheduled to arrive in the town from the capital the day of the rally. Beyond the problems arranging the rally due to the probable incitement of violence at such a rally, the organization learns of an unconfirmed report that there will be an attempt on the deputy's life. The rally does happen, after which a three-wheeled kamikaze runs over the deputy, who eventually passes away from his injuries. The official report is that the incident was a drunken accident. In reality, the deputy's death was murder orchestrated by the secret police, the general for who likens the pacifist organization to mildew killing off agricultural crops. A magistrate is assigned to the case. Although he does have political ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Z - A Orgia do Poder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,144 (USA) (13 March 2009)

Gross:

$83,305 (USA) (11 September 2009)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis. On May 22, 1963, Lambrakis was attacked and struck on the head (in the same manner depicted in the film) by right-wing extremists after giving an anti-war speech in Thessaloniki. He died of brain injuries from the attack on May 27, 1963. Following Lambrakis's assassination, a military junta of right-wing generals seized control of the Greek government in 1967. During this time, the letter Z (meaning "He is alive") became a common piece of protest graffiti in Greek cities, in memory of Lambrakis and his democratic ideals. The military junta banned the use of the letter "Z" as graffiti, in response to these protests. The Greek junta collapsed in 1974, following a disastrous invasion of Cyprus by Turkey (which led to the occupation of almost half Cyprus by the Turkish army), and democracy was restored to Greece. In the film, the Examining Magistrate (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) is in reality Christos Sartzetakis, who later served as President of the Hellenic Republic (1985-1990). See more »

Goofs

When the Photo-Journalist is interviewing Dumas the Russian in the café, Dumas mentions a paramilitary force. In the English subtitles this is translated as "a paramilitary farce". See more »

Quotes

Examining Magistrate: Nom, prénom, profession... Signez votre déposition... Vous êtes officiellement inculpé pour homicide volontaire avec préméditation! Votre mandat de depôt est prêt. La loi accorde vingt-quatre heures aux officiers supérieurs avant de les incarcérer. Si vous voulez éviter les journalistes, vous pouvez sortir par là.
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Crazy Credits

Any resemblance to actual events, to persons living or dead, is not the result of chance. It is DELIBERATE. (Signed by) Jorge Semprún, Costa-Gavras See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spielberg on Spielberg (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Messe Pour le Temps Présent--Psyché Rock
(uncredited)
Composed and Performed by Pierre Henry
Courtesy of Philips/PolyGram Records
by arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
© 1967 Philips Classics Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
stunning political drama
21 May 2005 | by (naples, florida) – See all my reviews

Having seen this at the Art Theatre in Akron, Ohio, upon its first American release, this film was a forcefully stunning, face slapping wake up call to keep a vigilant eye on most politicians because they are controlled only by the constraints we present and confine them with. Grown men left the theater with tears pouring down their cheeks not only because of the great performances and story, but because these were the Nixon years, and the film made us realize we were only a pen stroke away from the horror of losing freedom and democracy here in the United States. No country is safe, and it could be argued in areas of Florida today that, even though we preserved our nation and eliminated Nixon, it was a Pyrhic victory, a temporary victory, and our democracy and how it is supposed to ethically work was left disheveled and browbeaten in the end, anyway. One thing is for certain; the rats are in the cupboard now. And this film hits all the right buttons; great music, acting, an avant garde documentary style of filming that was sensational in its time and still is good today, but so many people have copied it, it seems to lack originality since we are so accepting now of something that was novel at the time...but this is the real thing that started it all. A film that should be in everyone's home and shown to every civic class in America.


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