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Z - Costa-Gavras
- Fiction


France/Algérie - 1969 - 2 h 5 mn - Réalisation : Costa-Gavras - Scénario : Jorge Semprun, Costa-Gavras d'après le roman de Vassilis Vassilikos - Image : Raoul Coutard - Montage : Françoise Bonnot, Marie-Thérèse Boiche - Musique : Mikis Theodorakis - Interprétation : Yves Montand, Irène Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacques Perrin, François Périer -

Corum - Opéra Berlioz Samedi 27 octobre 2012, 14 h 00
Centre Rabelais Samedi 3 novembre 2012, 10 h 00

Based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Vassilis Vassilikos, the film presents a thinly fictionalized account of the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963. With its satirical view of Greek politics, its dark sense of humor, and its downbeat ending, the film captures the outrage about the military dictatorship that ruled Greece at the time of its making. The film was the 4th highest grossing film of the year 1969 in France. It was also the 10th highest grossing film of 1969 in the United States. It is also one of the few films to be nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture.


Born in 1933 in Athens, Greece, Costa-Gavras settled in Paris in 1951 and took French nationality in 1968. He studied literature at the Sorbonne before attending the IDHEC. At the end of the 1950s he worked as assistant to Henri Verneuil ('Un singe en hiver'), René Clément ('Le Jour et l'Heure') and Jacques Demy ('La Baie des anges'). His first film, 'Compartiment tueurs' gained considerable success in 1965. This was followed more discreetly by 'Un homme de trop' (1967) before the triumph of 'Z' in 1969, a film that won two prizes in Cannes and two Oscars. It was the first of a political trilogy that includes 'L' Aveu' (1971) and 'Etat de siège' (1973). With impeccably orchestrated political thrillers ('Missing' won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981 and an Oscar for the best screenplay) and dramas illustrating the violation of the Rights of Man (Hanna K., 1983), the great majority of Costa-Gavras' films are inspired by real events that show persons crushed by history. The director frequently wrote screenplays with Jorge Semprun or Franco Solinas and used the actor Yves Montand in several films. But he has also used a more intimate register, as in 'Clair de femme' (1979) and 'Conseil de famille' (1985). He stopped filming at the beginning of the 1980s because of his function at the Cinémathèque française. But he made a strong return in the USA where he directed 'La Main droite du diable' (1987) and 'Music Box' (1989). Apart from 'La Petite Apocalypse' (1992) and 'Mad City' (1996), Costa-Gavras was little present in the cinema in the 1990s. In 2002, he made the extremely successful 'Amen'. 'Le Couperet', with José Garcia and Karin Viard was released in March 2005 and 'Éden à l'ouest' in 2009.