Z - English subtitled

Classic political thriller about the murder of a leftist politician in Greece in the early 1960s. Trintignant plays the fearless prosecutor that goes to the bottom of the case.

Time & Tickets

Greece was a mess in the aftermath of World War II. Power struggles between the government, the army, the communists, and the last king of Greece kept Greece in turmoil and led to a military coup in 1967 and the assassination of leftist politician Grigoris Lambrakis. This murder is the subject of Z, activist director Costa-Gavras’ response to the corrupt and murdering Greek government of the time. By then, however, the director had already fled to France, partly because of the persecution of his father, who was active in the left-wing resistance to the Nazis during the war years.

Needless to say, Z is worth watching because of its historical significance. In all respects, it’s a product of the revolutionary sixties, art as a fist in the face of the political establishment. However, the film was also technically revolutionary. Costa-Gavras combined an activist message with the classical cinematic form of a thriller, a combination that critic Roger Ebert described as ‘almost unbearably exciting’. There was no shortage of acclaim from the film industry: Z won several awards, including the Oscar for best foreign film and the prize for the best actor (Trintignant) at the film festival in Cannes.

Before the screening of September 7th, programmer Wouter Greven will introduce the film (in English, 15/20 min). In this introduction, he will both elaborate on the political context of Z and discuss the cinematic idiosyncrasy Costas-Gavras showcased with his groundbreaking work.

Costa-Gavras, France, Algeria, 1969, 127 min. French, Russian & English spoken, English subtitles. With Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant, François Périer, Jacques Perrin.