Thepitch : A member of parliament progressive is murdered in a mediterranean country. The investigating judge handling the survey highlights, in this crime, the involvement of the army and the police.
Any resemblance to actual events, to persons dead or alive is not a matter of chance. She is a volunteer.
The message is clear from the beginning of the film, which will follow going to hurt ! And large bodies film will not be mistaken : the Jury Prize and best actor Prize for Jean-louis Trintignant at Cannes film Festival in 1969, Oscar for best foreign film and Oscar for best editing in 1970. The bomb is dropped. Z joined the pantheon of great films that mark the history of cinema forever.
In this edition 2015 du Festival de Cannes, once again the section Cannes Classics feels the coup and calls on Costa-Gavras and his film iron lance Z for a cinematic homage, and to remind us also that, in these times where freedom is attacked from all sides, the art and the cinema have always been a voice of protest and resistance against fascism of any kind.
Thus, Z cogne fort in 1969 on the Croisette. The film is even hailed as the first great political film, the French, and that’s it. It is also the first film of a trilogy policy with The Confession (1970) and State of siege (1973). It tells the story of the assassination of the deputy Greek Gregory Lambrakis (played by Yves Montand) in 1963 by the power and the high authorities of the country, in particular the gendarmerie, which has tried to hide the murder by accident. But an honest judge played by Jean-Louis Trintignant is going to lead the investigation throughout the film and discover the pot-aux-roses. The film would have simply to narrate the facts already doing a great job and providing an excellent scenario, but Costa-Gavras in state of grace will concoct a work with onions to sign one of his best films.
Based on excellent performers, Montand and Trintignant perfect, the film builds its story carefully through a montage of high-efficiency and lauded by the oscars themselves. He dissects the case step-by-step after an entry on squeaky with a speech pretty tasty if it was not terrifying by a senior general of the state comparing the political opposition to a disease that we must eradicate. The narration is very clean, and there Gavras instills his film. The fiction is where the dialogues and the interpretation we’re immersed in a polar mastered and yet there is like an aftertaste of a documentary. The film never falls into sensationalism, and free, it always remains on the wire and avoids the caricatures.
“Costa-Gavras returns with this film in the great court.”
It is a film full of cinema, peeping on the american thriller, peppered with dark humor sometimes comical, which re-enacts the historical facts while telling a story in a way that only allows the cinematic apparatus. Costa-Gavras returns with this film in the great court, with filmmakers who are raising their voices to bring the art of Truth, protest and the defence of our freedom. He will continue this same path throughout his career in film with other films fists as the great Amen or The Axe but Z will remain his masterpiece : “He is still alive!”
Z is presented in the selection, Cannes Classics, during the Cannes film Festival edition 2015 !