In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »
Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »
An unknown Polish writer can't publish his novels, so his ex-wife decides to help him and get some of the profit for herself. She finally finds a publisher, but there's a strange single condition that could cost the writer his life.
Sei persone viaggiano in un vagone-letto da Marsiglia a Parigi. All'arrivo, un donna viene trovata morta nella sua cuccetta. La polizia si mette alla ricerca delle altre persone, ... See full summary »
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 »
First and foremost, it is a true story. It's the story of the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis, that eventually led to the military junta. Every time I see it, it gives me the chills. Since Z was released while the junta was still in power, it was banned in Greece for several years. After the fall of the military junta, Z was worshiped, although we saw it on TV much later in order to avoid stirring passions. In terms of the plot, if you're not Greek, it's quite possible you might be left with many unanswered questions, but, in general, it is an accurate description of Greece during that era.
While Vassilikos' novel (written in 1966) has driven him to exile from 1967, Theodorakis was still in Greece under surveillance and managed to write his excellent score secretly.
Costa-Gavras gives us a top-class fast paced direction which hasn't aged even today, although I'm sure the Oscar was as much a political decision as a purely artistic one. What is truly spot-on is the casting. Both Montand and Trintignant excel, but even minor roles like Vago and Yago are portrayed in an extremely realistic way. My small objection would be Irene Papas staying near-silent throughout the movie. Although her talent allows her to pull it off with class, I really didn't understand why she was not supposed to talk.
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