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Z (1969 - French) (Movies To See Before You Die - World Cinema / Historical)

20 Jan, 2014 | Movies To See Before You Die / World Cinema

A sheer treat for the lovers of exciting thrillers revolving around real life historical assassinations, Z remains one of the most authentic portrayals of a dark event on the screen with a difference. Winner of the Best Editing and Best Foreign Language Film OSCAR in the year 1970, the film was also rightly nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Writing, along with having its own share of controversies in the year of its release.
But what actually differentiates Z from many other films made on some important assassinations in the world history is the way director Costa-Gavras treats the subject with an authentic approach and convincing realism throughout. Plus he also depicts the event with a great satirical viewpoint, pointing towards the hidden politics involved in the assassination and strongly showcases the revolts as they were reportedly seen in that specific time period without using any clear names.
Based on a 1966 novel with the same title by Vassilis Vassilikos, Z is a fictional account of the assassination of Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963 and the political events which took place post his murder. As the film begins with a novel style of introducing its key characters, the tension slowly creeps in as the main leader comes in to attend his crucial rally and the target is attacked in the middle of the road, right in front of the public and appointed police officers. Getting seriously injured by the strong blow, the protagonist later dies but the witnesses are manipulated by the Police themselves as a cover-up, calling it an accident caused by a drunk driver. Later as the autopsy gives out the real thing, an examining magistrate is assigned to look into the case, who then investigates with some strict interviews of everyone involved and gathers sufficient evidence against the main culprits. But then what comes up as the ultimate result of the entire interrogation process, is something completely unanticipated and shocking.
The film actually becomes a much rewarding experience in totality due to a very thoughtful yet thrilling way of presenting the things, at his own pace by director Costa-Gavras. He chooses an exceptional cast to play his important characters and the actors play their assigned roles to perfection, especially Jean-Louis Trintignant as the examining magistrate. Moreover its cinematography, art direction, editing and background score successfully manages to take you into that particular era full of tension and revolt in a distinctive style, which needs to be seen at the earliest to feel the difference.
Talking about its unconventional title which also remains one of the shortest titles ever, post M (1931), the letter Z actually means “He is Alive!” in ancient Greek. And this was in reality used as a common expression of protest (in Graffiti) in Greek cities, in the memory of their leader Lambrakis and his democratic ideals. So if you are really interested in revisiting that great eye-opener political event of the world history then do watch this classic dramatization as a must and have an enlightening evening.

(Interestingly, the same novel ‘Z’ was also adapted in Hindi Films by director Dibaker Banerjee for his SHANGHAI in the year 2012, but that can easily be called a more commercialized version of the plot, compromising at many levels.)

Directed by Costa-Gavras
Written By Vasilis Vasilikos (Novel)
Starring : Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant.

Tags : Z (1969 - French), Movies To See Before You Die World Cinema, Films of Political assassinations, Historical, Must Watch Films List by Bobby Sing, World Classics List by Bobby Sing, Worth Watching Classic Films List at bobbytalkscinema.com, Not To Be Missed Films on World Historical Events.
20 Jan 2014 / Comment ( 0 )
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