Z (1969) Film Review B+

DIRECTOR: Costa-Gavras
BOTTOM LINE: Director Costa-Gavras’s “Z,” a thriller about the fall of an elected democratic government in an unnamed country – but which is obviously Greece – and the establishment of a military junta was feted by one award ceremony after another and one film critics association after another in the Winter of 1969/1970. However, few seemed to have noticed, or if they did, they didn’t seem to care that this is a virulently homophobic film in which the main villain, Vago (Marcel Bozzuffi) – the man who strikes down Deputy Gregoris Lambrakis (played by Yves Montand) with a club from a speeding van – is a homosexual and convicted pedophile who trades sexual favors with other gay deviants such as the newspaper editor. These scum of the Earth perverts are contrasted with our handsome, intellectual and heterosexual heroes Montand and the examining magistrate Jean-Louis Trintignant. Some may give it an A+, but from a gay perspective, the most I can summon is a B+. Cinematography by Raoul Coutard. Music by Mikis Theodorakis. Editing by Francoise Bonnot. Adapted Screenplay by Jorge Semprún and Costa-Gavras from the novel by Vassilis Vassilikos. “Z,” which means “he lives” (referring to Lambrakis) in Greek, was the first film to be nominated for both Best Film and Best Foreign Language Film, winning in the latter category. A French-Algerian coproduction.






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