All posts tagged “Costa-Gavras


Z, Costa-Gavras (1969)

An ersatz documentary about the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis in Greece, which led to the establishment of the military junta which ruled Greece from 1967-1974. It’s not so much that it’s an amazing movie, it’s that such a thing ever got made at all, and that it won two Academy Awards in 1970, including Best Foreign Film. These days people think the Academy’s being edgy for giving Al Gore’s global warming documentary an Academy Award; in 1970, this film was banned in Greece and Costa-Gavras probably would have been jailed had he darkened Greece’s doorstep (the film was shot in Algeria, and comparisons between it and The Battle of Algiers are inevitable for that reason among obvious others). This is a completely politically committed and topical work of art, with no apologies, pandering, or punches pulled. As a bonus, it’s fairly interesting to watch, although some of the pseudo-documentary camera tricks–such as the jumpy, stuttering cuts–have aged badly, and seem not gritty, as intended, but comic.