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Z (1969) Poster

(1969)

Quotes

Manuel: Always blame the Americans. Even if you're wrong!

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Françoise Bonnot, Voiceover Narration: [final lines] The military regime banned: long hair, miniskirts, Sophocles, Tolstoy, Euripides, Russian-style toasts, strikes, Aristophanes, Ionesco, Sartre, Albee, Pinter, freedom of the press, sociology, Beckett, Dostoyevsky, modern music, pop music, new math, and the letter Z, which means HE LIVES in Ancient Greek.

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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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Manuel: We have a saying: "A hungry bear doesn't dance."

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Le photojournaliste: Are you a victim like Dreyfus?

The General: Dreyfus was guilty!

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Yago: [noticing that Vago is watching a boy] You only think about that?

Vago: [smiling] Yes.

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Z: [Z to his wife in flashback] Want to tell them the truth? They'll live the truth later.

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The General: Tonight, the enemy will meet in our city.

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[first lines]

Deputy Minister of Agriculture: Mildew is prevented by spraying the vines with a solution of copper sulfate. There are two standard remedies: Bordeaux mixture and Burgundy mixture - named after the French provinces famous for its wines. The vines are sprayed three times a year: first when the shoots are about five inches long; second, just before or after the blossoms appear; and the third time, a month later. Spraying is preventative and thus essential

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Title Card: Any similarity to real persons and events is not coincidental. It is INTENTIONAL

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The General: As the deputy minister of agriculture explained, three sprayings are required to prevent mildew. As with mildew, this ideological disease must be fought preventively. It is caused by harmful germs and various parasites. So the spraying of humans, with appropriate mixtures, is indispensable. Schools, in this case, constitute the first stage. That is where, if you'll excuse the metaphor, young shoots have not yet reached four or five inches. The second spraying is just before or after the blossoming. I refer to universities and young workers. Military service is the best time to protect the sacred tree of national liberty against infection from ideological mildew.

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The General: With the outbreak of such "-isms" as socialism, anarchism, imperialism, communism, etc., sunspots began to swarm across the face of the diurnal orb. God casts no light on the Reds. Scientists have announced a major increase in sunspots since the advent of beatniks, Provos, and, most of all, pacifist tendencies from Italy, France and Scandinavia.

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The General: We must preserve the healthy parts of our society and heal the infected parts.

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The General: Our system is not an "-ism." This is a democracy.

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Le procureur: Yes, you can be prosecutor and appreciate the Paris Commune.

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Protester: We're against the bomb, Russian or American. Disarmament! Disarmament! Disarmament!

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Anti-Protesters: Long live the bomb! Long live the bomb! Long live the bomb!

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Protesters: No more foreign bases! No more foreign bases! No more foreign bases!

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Le photojournaliste II: Who is it?

Le photojournaliste: The new face of the opposition. Young people and women go for him.

Le photojournaliste II: Communist?

Le photojournaliste: No way. He's against foreign influence. The next elections are his.

Le photojournaliste II: He's got a presence.

Le photojournaliste: Ex-Olympic champion, doctor, academic and honest politician. Perfection!

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Manuel: It's a set-up.

Z: A set-up by whom?

Manuel: We want foreign bases dismantled. It's the CIA.

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Protesters: Down with the police state! Down with the police state! Down with the police state!

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Z: They struck me. Why? Why do the ideas we stand for incite such violence? Why is peace intolerable to them? Why don't they attack other organizations and movements? The answer is simple. The other movements are national, for domestic purposes, and thus leave our allies indifferent...

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Z: We lack hospitals and doctors, but half the budget goes for military expenditures...

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Anti-protestor: Long live the army!

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Z: A single cannon is fired and a teacher's monthly salary goes up in smoke.

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Z: They cannot tolerate this meeting or our presence and employ hired thugs to shout down and attack us.

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Z: Worldwide, there are too many soldiers ready to fire at the slightest display of progress...

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Z: We live in a weak and corrupt society where it's everyman for himself - Even imagination is suspect, yet it is required to solve the problems of our planet, where the destructive power of stockpiled nuclear warheads equals a ton of dynamite for each person.

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Z: We serve the people and the people require the truth. The people require the truth.

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Z: The truth is the start of powerful, united action.

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Le rédacteur en chef du journal: What happened to you?

Vago: There was a demonstration. We taught the bastards a lesson. They can't stop them from getting or keep us from reacting either. It's like a biological process. You see, we're society's healthy elements, its antibodies. We gave 'em hell.

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Le procureur: Those necrophiliacs!

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Manuel: Why is it always our people who get killed?

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Journalist #1: [Z's wife arrives at the hospital] What was your reaction to the news?

Journalist #2: Did the American president really send a telegram?

Journalist #3: What did he say?

Journalist #4: Are you a perfect couple?

Journalist #5: Was he threatened?

Journalist #6: Will you let the Communists use your husband's name?

Journalist #7: Was this a murder attempt?

Journalist #8: Why did you call in a British surgeon?

Journalist #9: Were you really divorcing?

Journalist #10: Was it an accident?

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The General: That one's a mad dog. He'll make the most of it. No shame. A Jew, naturally.

Le colonel de gendarmerie: A half-Jew.

The General: Worst kind. They feel superior even to other Jews.

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Le colonel de gendarmerie: It seems they'd been out drinking at the Chinaman's bar.

Le procureur: There are Chinese merchants in our city?

Le colonel de gendarmerie: The owner fought in Korea in a volunteer battalion, so he's called the Chinaman.

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Le colonel de gendarmerie: I'll read it. "I, Bertrand... aka the Chinaman, bar owner, etc., do hereby declare that on May 22 of this year, Yago and Vago entered my bar at 7:00 pm and remained until 10:00 pm. I saw them start with several glasses of anisette..."

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Le colonel de gendarmerie: Thirteenth witness, a dockhand, "I saw Vago an Yago drinking all evening. By the time they left at 10:00 pm, they were drunk. The Chinaman said, 'Leave the kamikaze.'"

Examining Magistrate: Kamikaze?

Le colonel de gendarmerie: A three-wheel hauler. Japanese model.

Le procureur: This is like the Far East.

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Le procureur: He just died.

The General: That doesn't change the terms of your statement. Simply replace "assault and battery" with "manslaughter."

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Deputy Prosecutor: Whey did you join the party?

Nick: I've never belonged to any party. I only like soccer.

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Nick: I'm no epileptic and I don't belong to any party.

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La mère de Nick: Come and eat.

Nick: He killed a man.

La mère de Nick: What man?

Nick: A deputy.

La mère de Nick: In the government?

Nick: No, the opposition.

La mère de Nick: He did right. What's it to you?

Nick: He got his picture in the paper.

La mère de Nick: Eat. Let them kill each other.

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The General: Yago this, Yago that! Nonsense!

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La soeur de Nick: You hate me for succeeding in life. Huh?

Nick: You and your husband hate me.

La soeur de Nick: Never mind him. You've caused him enough trouble! You want to destroy my life. When Papa died, I hoped you'd take his place. I needed security. You ignored me. You never took me anywhere. You preferred soccer and thugs like Yago.

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La soeur de Nick: I'll tell you what happened, because you print a lot of nonsense.

Le photojournaliste: Were you there.

La soeur de Nick: No, but he wasn't struck. He slipped or passed out or leftists hit him to stir up trouble.

Le photojournaliste: That's what the police say.

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Nick: Tell him how you and your husband joined the right-wingers to get yourselves jobs.

La soeur de Nick: It's true! I joined them!

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Nick: They asked if I was a Commie.

Le photojournaliste: Are you?

Nick: No! Say I only care about soccer.

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Examining Magistrate: Any convictions?

Vago: Yes, four.

Examining Magistrate: Four?

Vago: Yes, four. Illegal possession of a weapon, abuse and slander, theft - and rape.

Examining Magistrate: Rape?

Vago: It wasn't really. I was a Boy Scout camp counselor.

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Examining Magistrate: You're a Communist.

Vago: Me?

Examining Magistrate: You and Yago. You're friends. It was something you let slip out: "A rich man catches a cold, we poor still have to work or we die." Then you caught yourself and stopped.

Vago: I hate Communists!

Examining Magistrate: Not words. I want proof! Only a Communist would say that.

Vago: I belong to an anti-Communist group!

Examining Magistrate: And Yago?

Vago: Yago too.

Examining Magistrate: Which one?

Vago: CROC! Christian Royalist Organization against Communism.

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Le photojournaliste: The magistrate believed you. He started digging and found that Vago and Yago belong to a secret group.

Nick: Secret group?

Le photojournaliste: Yes, CROC.

Nick: Everybody knows 'em. The cops use 'em to keep order during state visits.

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Le procureur: You must settle this quickly. The city, the country, even the world is watching and waiting. Our country's honor is at stake. Forget about these lowlifes. Your future lies before you. This case can take you very far or break your career. Take it from someone who knows.

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CROC Representative: My organization is recognized by the authorities. We are honest citizens, healthy elements of society, antibodies in the fight against all infection. Our goal is the defense of Western civilization. But it's a moral struggle.

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Attorney General: So you'd indict the chiefs of police and security?

Examining Magistrate: It's inevitable.

Attorney General: Only events dictated by divine will are inevitable.

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Attorney General: As if it's not enough that our country's been invaded by long-haired thugs, atheists and junkies of unclear sex, now you want to disparage our armed forces and courts - the only elements not corrupted by parliamentarianism. Just when we dream of renewal, a country without parties, without Left or Right, heeding God and its destiny, you want to ruin it all.

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[repeated line]

Examining Magistrate: Name and occupation.

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[repeated line]

Examining Magistrate: You are charged with first degree murder.

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Examining Magistrate: What did you do the day of the murder?

The General: I'd decided to attend the Bolshoi. Not out of love for dance. I'm no pervert, thank God. But it was a chance to spot sympathizers.

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The General: Is he a Communist? Why is he after me?

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Matt: Hélène! Hélène! Hélène! They've all been charged, even the general. The magistrate didn't back down. You see? It's as if he were still alive. It's a real revolution. The government will fall. The extremists will be swept away. The elections will be a landslide victory.

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Vago: This guy leaps onto the truck bed, lithe and ferocious as a tiger. He grabs me - and whoosh! Out I go into the street.

Examining Magistrate: How did he leap?

Vago: Like a tiger.

Examining Magistrate: Before that.

Vago: Lithe and ferocious as a tiger.

Examining Magistrate: Yago used the same exact phrase.

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The General: My men couldn't stop the three-wheeler, but a man leaped onto the flatbed, like a tiger, lithe and ferocious like a tiger.

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Le photojournaliste: The deputy prosector never made the trial. He died of a heart attack, according to the coroner. Seven other witnesses died before the trial. A car accident. A gas explosion. A suicide. A drowning. A work accident. A second car accident. And a heart attack while driving...

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