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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Writers:

(novel) (as Vassili Vassilikos),
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Z
...
Hélène
...
...
...
François Périer ...
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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Costa-Gavras says that Montand's scenes, including flashbacks and photos only occupy 12 minutes of screen time. See more »

Goofs

After Georges Géret as Nick is hit on the front of the head, he holds the back of it. See more »

Quotes

The General: Dreyfus was guilty!
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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

Featured in Looking for Athènes (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

La Course De Manuel (Chase)
(To Yelasto Pedi)
Arranged By, Conducted by Bernard Gérard
Composed by Mikis Theodorakis
Published By April Music
(p) CBS Records / Columbia
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User Reviews

 
The most important political film in Greece
13 July 1999 | by (Athens, Greece) – See all my reviews

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.


73 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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