"Any resemblance to real events, to people alive or dead, is intentional!" The sincere rage that runs through Gavras’s classic political thriller is evident in every frame, from the credits to the glances, from the demonstrations to the interrogations, and in every possible intermediate point. Based on the novel of the same name by Vassilis Vassilikos, about the assassination of EDA MP Grigoris Lambrakis by parastatals in the ’60s – a turbulent decade for Greece, the Z (not read ”Zeta” but “Zi” which means “alive” in Greek) starts with the attack on a political figure of the opposition (Yves Montand) and the immediate attempt of concealment, following the subsequent research by an investigator (Jean-Louis Trintignant) determined to bring the true facts to light. But what can be the price of truth in such a corrupt and politically unstable environment? In a screenplay he co-wrote with the later Spanish Minister of Culture Jorge Sembrun, Costa-Gavras weaves a thriller that raises the pulse not by using exaggerations and cheap twists, but by locating and intentionally commenting political terror, through interrogations and glances that never hide the truth. Through an uninterrupted montage and the impetuous compositions of Mikis Theodorakis, Gavras follows faces, processes, and truths hidden in the shadows, completing a bold, vital portrait of that period’s social impasse, that captivated the world audience. It was the second non-English language film in history, to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Film category.

The film is in French and will be screened in a restored digital copy (DCP), created in 2014 by KG Productions with the support of CNC, with English and Greek subtitles.


Screening Schedule

No scheduled screenings.

Direction: Costa Gavras
Script: Jorge Semprun, Costa-Gavras (based on a Vassilis Vassilikos novel)
Cinematography: Raoul Coutard
Editing: Françoise Bonnot
Sound: Michèle Boëhm
Music: Mikis Theodorakis
Actors: Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Irene Pappas, Jacques Perrin, François Périer, Charles Denner, Pierre Dux, Georges Géret, Renato Salvatori, Bernard Fresson, Clotilde Joano
Producers: Jacques Perrin, Ahmed Rachedi
Costumes: Piet Bolscher
Sets: Jacques D’Ovidio
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: France
Production Year: 1969
Duration: 127'

Costa Gavras

Costa Gavras was born in Arcadia, Greece (1933). He studied Literature at Sorbonne and cinema at the French national film school IDHEC. He work as director assistant for Jean Giono and René Clair before directing his first film The Sleeping Car Murders (1965). He has been established with a variety of political thrillers that revealed the violent face of dictatorial regimes winning the Best Foreign Language Film's Oscar for Z (1969), the Oscar for Screenplay & the Golden Glove for Missing (1982) and Cannes Film Festival for Special Section (1975).


1958 Les Rates
1965 Compartiment Tueurs
1967 Un home de trop
1969 Z
1970 L’Aveu
1973 État de Siege
1975 Section spéciale
1979 Clair de femme
1982 Missing
1983 Hanna K
1986 Conseil de Famille
1988 Betrayed
1990 Music Box
1991 Contre l’oubli
1993 La Petite apocalypse
1995 À propos de Nice, la suite
1997 Mad City
2002 Amen
2005 Le Couperet
2009 Eden Is West
2019 Adults in the Room