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Z (The Criterion Collection)
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Based on the novel by Vassilis Vassilikos, which was itself based on the 1966 "Lambrakis Affair" in Greece, "Z" is at once a political thriller and satire. Set in an unnamed nation, it presents a politician who is strongly critical of American and Russian nuclear build up and his nation's participation in it. Denounced by the status quo as a communist, he is met with civic obstruction when he arrives to give a speech and afterward is struck down and killed by a speeding truck in the streets. A drunk driving accident, according to local officials. An assassination, according to his entourage.
Although the film has a somewhat slow and uncertain build, once fully underway it becomes a rapid-fire series of sharply edited scenes in which the sloppy assassination plot is unraveled by a dispassionate magistrate sent to conduct an investigation--an investigation plagued by assaults on witnesses and civic cover-up. But in such a corrupt society, can the full truth ever be known?
Director Costa-Gavras walks a very fine line here, presenting the characters as archetypes but endowing them yet endowing with enough human emotion to engage our interests and sympathies. And the cast is remarkable, with Yves Montond, Irene Papas, and Jean-Louis Trintignant particularly notable.Read more ›
From 1969, this political thriller stands up as a brilliantly crafted film, helped by an extraordinary cast, great editing, and a marvelous Mikis Theodorakis soundtrack.
What an amazing ensemble of actors ! Yves Montand is fabulous, also the beautiful Irene Papas, Charles Denner, Jacques Perrin, and so many more...but the real hero of this film is Jean-Lois Trintignant. He is magnificent, and the subtleties of his performance riveting.
I don't think you have to subscribe to the politics espoused in this film to appreciate its greatness. It stands as a work of art, and I think Costa-Gavras' finest film.
The ENGLISH VERSION was filmed in parallel with the french version (The use of french was necessitated to have it distributed in Europe as the original Greek would have limited draw.) The incident took place here in Thessaloniki Greece, where I live).
All the performers were fluent in English and you can recognize their voices.
It was not "Dubbed" (watch their lips "expert").
Now those of you who know where the original English language version can be found, speak up.
It is an excellent film and deserves to be experienced. (Read the book.)
I hope DVD manufacturers will pick this up and turn it in to a collector's item. It is very much worth keeping even to show it to your grand children!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No question in this wicked old world it is a tough dollar in many places to be an oppositional politician, to expect to be able to practice a democratic way of dealing with... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Alfred Johnson
Stunning! This movie about the Greek revolution has aged well. As we face our own Fascist threat, this is a warning about what could happen, even in the USA.Published 2 months ago by Ben Delaney
"Z" is a political thriller directed and co-written by Costa Gavras.
Setting the stage is the clash brewing between the more peaceful elements of Parisian... Read more
Excellent movie, reveals how false and deceitful our society is.Published 4 months ago by Dr. El-Guindy
Ripped off. Wanted this on DVD, but not available in English (only subtitles). So I purchased the streaming, since nowhere was an indication that it also was only in French w/... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Grannelle
It seems sort of silly to be responding to a review written ten years ago, but what the heck. Referring to the reviewer who said that the English language version was not... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tad Richards