8.2/10
20,308
90 user 69 critic

(1969)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Vassili Vassilikos), (dialogue) (as Jorge Semprun)
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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 (as Irène Papas)
... Le juge d'instruction
... Le procureur
... Le photojournaliste
... Manuel
... Le général de gendarmerie Missou
... Nick
... Matt
... Vago (as Marcel Bozzufi)
... Le colonel de gendarmerie
... 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/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

8 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Дзета  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,144, 15 March 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,305, 13 September 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

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

At the end of the film there is a list of names banned by the military junta. The names are separated by commas, except for one: "Lurçat !!?!". This is a reference to Jean Lurçat, who was the key figure in the revival of woven tapestry in the 20th century. 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

[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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Crazy Credits

Mikis Theodorakis (the film's composer) having been deported, the orchestration is by Bernard Gérard. 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 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.


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