March 28 , 2007, 19:15 ETH HG D5.2
- Language: French
- Genre: Thriller/Dramatic
- Subtitles: Greek
- Running Time: 127 λεπτά
- Director: Costas Gavras
- Script: Vassilis Vassilikos, Costas Gavras
- Music: Mikis Theodorakis
- Actors: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Irene Pappas, Jacques Perrin
- Production: 1969
- Awards: Academy Award for Best Foreign Language (Algeria), Academy Award for Film Editing, Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Picture, The Jury Prize (Cannes), Best Male Actor (Cannes)
When Gregoris Lambrakis, a democratic politician, is murdered in an attack during a peace demonstration, the right wing established figures in the military and the police in order not only to hide their parts in it, but also to cover up the murder itself. The prosecutor must act as a detective in order to go through the cover up.
The events before and after the assassination of Lambrakis inspired the author Vassilis Vassilikos to write the political novel “Z”. The title stands for the first letter of the Greek word “Zei” (“Lives”), a popular slogan which began to appear on the walls of the buildings of the Greek cities illustrating the growing protest against the conditions that led to the assassination of Lambrakis.
In 1969, the Greek-French director Costas Gavras inspired by the events and the novel by Vassilikos made the film Z. Due to the control of Greece by the Junta at that time, the movie had to be shot in Algeria and France and is in French. While historically accurate, it is told as a combination of mystery and thriller.
More information about Gregoris Lambrakis, his assassination and the political situation in Greece at that time can be found here (in English), here and here (in Greek).