A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras’s Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner—loosely based on the 1963 assassination of Greek left-wing activist Gregoris Lambrakis—stars Yves Montand as a prominent politician and doctor whose public murder amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials; Jean-Louis Trintignant is the tenacious magistrate who’s determined not to let them get away with it. Featuring kinetic, rhythmic editing, Raoul Coutard’s expressive vérité photography, and Mikis Theodorakis’s unforgettable, propulsive score, Z is a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece. —The Criterion Collection
Costa-Gavras is a Greek filmmaker, best known for films with overt political themes, most famously the fast-paced thriller, Z (1969). Most of his movies were made in French; starting with Missing (1982), several were made in English.
Gavras was born in Loutra Iraias, Arcadia. His family spent the Second World War in a village in the Peloponnese, and moved to Athens after the war. His father had been a member of the left-wing EAM branch of the Greek Resistance, and was imprisoned after the war as a suspected communist. His father’s record made it impossible for him to attend university or emigrate to the United States, so after high school Costa Gavras went to France, where he began his studies of law in 1951.
In 1956, he left his university studies to study film at the French national film school, IDHEC. After film school, he apprenticed under Yves Allégret, and became an assistant director for Jean Giono and René Clair. After several further positions as first assistant… read more
This exciting, fast-paced drama is the film that confirmed Costa-Gavras as a political filmmaker of the highest order. Based on the fictionalised account of an assassination in Greece from the early '60's, the Greek-born director keeps the tension high with his virtuoso editing style. Legendary New Wave lensman Coutard is on top form, as is Trintignant as the examining magistrate bravely trying to uncover the truth..
Updated through 6/12. "Jorge Semprún, a Spanish writer whose novelistic memoirs (or memoirish novels) drew on his experiences as a
Boasting an absolutely gorgeous Criterion transfer, Z is a stunning thriller about corruption and justice. DVDVerdict suggests it “might be the only modern-day film about a paramilitary government… read review
Directed by Costas Gavras, this Academy Award and multiple awards winning intens…e political thriller is about the assassination of a left-wing prominent politician “The Deputy”(based on real-life… read review
The music is very rhythmic. The camera work is fairly documentary-like giving us a feeling that we are viewing things few have seen. The editing is kinetic, not dwelling too long on most shots unless… read review