Rex and Saskia, a young couple in love, are on vacation. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia is abducted. After three years and no sign of Saskia, Rex begins receiving letters from the abductor.
Johanna ter Steege
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
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 »
After Georges Géret as Nick is hit on the front of the head, he holds the back of it. See more »
[Z to his wife in flashback]
Want to tell them the truth? They'll live the truth later.
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One of the best political/muck-wracking films ever made, it set the stage for the great US political films of the 70's. Costa-Garvas at his finest, it's filled with detailed performances and camera work, a memorable score, and breathtaking content. If only they made films like this now, I'd be a happy camper. By the way, it was the first foreign film (French) to be nominated for Best Picture. That should tell you something.......
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