Costa-Gavras (Konstantinos Gavras), a French-Greek filmmaker, became famous with this film, which is his third feature. Z is a thinly fictionalized account of the 1963 assassination of the leftist Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis and is, together with Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers, probably one of the greatest political movies ever made. Though, says the internet, “unlike the more rigorously theoretical approach of [Pontecorvo], Costa-Gavras had brilliantly embedded the film’s politics within an exciting – and commercial – genre movie. The strength of Z, a film which remains an exemplary piece of politically-committed popular entertainment, is that he managed to keep the politics sharply focused while simultaneously providing those commercial thrills. It was a balancing act which few other filmmakers were capable of achieving.” It is, someone else says on the internet, “one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and... a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece."
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