Directed by Costa-Gavras • 1969 • Algeria, France
Starring Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Irene Papas
A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras’s Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner—loosely based on the 1963 assassination of Greek left-wing activist Gregoris Lambrakis—stars Yves Montand as a prominent politician and doctor whose public murder amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials; Jean-Louis Trintignant is the tenacious magistrate who’s determined not to let them get away with it. Featuring kinetic, rhythmic editing, Raoul Coutard’s expressive vérité photography, and Mikis Theodorakis’s unforgettable, propulsive score, Z is a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece.
Up Next in Explosive Political Cinema of the 1960s
Directed by Jaromil Jireš • 1969 • Czechoslovakia
Jaromil Jire≈°'s brilliant adaptation of Milan Kundera's novel tells the fragmentary tale of a man expelled from the Communist Party because of a political joke. After "rehabilitation" in the mines and a stint in prison, he hatches a revenge plot...
A Report on the Party and Guests
Directed by Jan Němec • 1966 • Czechoslovakia
In Jan Němec's surreal fable, a picnic is rudely transformed into a lesson in political hierarchy when a handful of mysterious authority figures show up. This allegory about oppression and conformity was banned in its home country but became an inter...
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard • 1967 • France
Starring Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne
This scathing late-sixties satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema’s great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside while...