#103: Z

Z (1969) - Dir. Costa-Gavras

Part of the Top 150 Films series

In 1969, the Vietnam War was on the minds and televisions of the world, the global populace was passionately engaged about events around them, and riots in political arenas were unfortunately de rigeur. Sound familiar? Z emerged from this turbulent time as a stylish, intense indictment of the assassination of a leftist political leader by a right wing government cabal in an unnamed French-speaking country (based on a real life incident in Costa-Gavras’ native Greece). Z’s genius lies in its amazing editing, making government lectures on agriculture and long walks down hospital corridors as thrilling and tense as murder attempts and coups d’etat. Its 127 minutes fly; even as the cynicism becomes more trenchant, we can’t take our eyes off the screen. We just sit in amazement at the outrage, the comedy and the anger as to the state of the world. A must-see for political junkies everywhere.