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Z Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Z is one of the most politically insightful films ever made, exposing government hypocrisy and cover-up in the wake of a political assassination. Zei (Yves Montand) is a scientist who is scheduled to give a speech against the use of the atomic bomb. On the way to the event, he is attacked outside the auditorium by a group of right-wing extremists with political ties to the government as the police stand by and do nothing to intervene. He recovers long enough to make the speech but is later clubbed again and must undergo several surgeries, then dies during one of the procedures. A newspaper reporter finds a witness to the event and a judge willing to hear the case despite government protests. The ensuing trial reveals a government conspiracy, but the results of the trial are thrown out when a new government is formed by a military coup, which results in the intolerance that outlaws long hair, the Beatles, and any peaceful protests. Director Costa-Gavras used actual trial transcripts of the investigation into the May 22, 1963, assassination of Greek pacifist leader Gregoris Lambrakis, which proved a government conspiracy in his death. Yves Montand gives the best dramatic performance of his life, and Irene Papas stars as his wife, Helena. Z won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film of 1969, was 14th in terms of box-office success, and hit an international nerve in the age of social unrest, government cover-up, and political assassinations. All those involved worked on the film for a reduced rate with an option for royalties based on earnings at the theater window. The letter Z in the Greek alphabet means "he is alive." ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

  • Release date:December 8, 1969

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ahmed Rachedi Best Picture 1969 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jacques Perrin Best Picture 1969 Nominee
Cannes Film Festival Jean-Louis Trintignant Best Actor 1969 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Mikis Theodorakis Anthony Asquith Award 1969 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Françoise Bonnot Best Editing 1969 Winner
Edgar Allan Poe Awards Costa-Gavras Best Screenplay 1969 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Costa-Gavras Best Foreign Language Film 1969 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Costa-Gavras Best Director 1969 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Costa-Gavras Best Picture 1969 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Costa-Gavras Best Director 1969 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Costa-Gavras Best Director 1969 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Costa-Gavras Best Adapted Screenplay 1969 Nominee
Edgar Allan Poe Awards Jorge Semprun Best Screenplay 1969 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jorge Semprun Best Adapted Screenplay 1969 Nominee

Cast

Yves Montand
as The Deputy
Irene Papas
as Helene, the Deputy's wife
Jean-Louis Trintignant
as The Magistrate
Jacques Perrin
as Photojournalist
François Perier
as Public Prosecutor
Charles Denner
as Manuel
Jean Dasté
as Coste
Jean-Francois Gobbi
as Jimmy the Boxer
Magali Noël
as Nick's Sister
Bernard Fresson
as Matt
Georges Géret
as Nick
Steve Gadler
as English Photographer
Gabriel Jabbour
as Bozzini
Jean-Pierre Miquel
as Pierre
Pierre Dux
as The General
Gérard Darrieu
as Baron
Van Doude
as The Hospital Director
Eva Simonet
as Niki
Jean Bouise
as Deputy Georges Pirou
Guy Mairesse
as Dumas
Jose Artur
as The Newspaper Editor
Renato Salvatori
as Yago
Georges Rouquier
Julien Guiomar
as The Colonel
Marcel Bozzuffi
as Vago
Maurice Baquet
as The Bald Man
Clotilde Joano
as Shoula

Crew

Costa-Gavras
Director
Ahmed Rachedi
Producer
Jacques Perrin
Producer
Jorge Semprun
Screenwriter
Costa-Gavras
Screenwriter
Vassili Vassilikos
Book Author
Raoul Coutard
Cinematographer
Mikis Theodorakis
Composer (Music Score)
Françoise Bonnot
Editor
Jacques D'Ovidio
Art Director
Piet Bolscher
Costume Designer
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