Criterion Month Day 14: Z

Z (1969)

With each new year that we dive back into Criterion movies, there always seem to be recurring subgenres of films that each of us end up reviewing (John already mentioned his affinity for prison movies). This has never been intentional, but with past picks like Rome, Open City and The Battle of Algiers, it seems that each year I end up picking a political thriller based on what were recent events when these films were made. Unwittingly, I managed to pick another one of these films with Z, a film that tells a fictionalized version of the assassination of Greek leftist political leader Grigoris Lambrakis and the corrupt right-wing government that was responsible for it. However, the thing that separates Z from these other films I mentioned was that the authoritarian forces depicted here were still in power when the film was made, since Greek director Costa-Gravas had left his home country as a teenager to make films in France, where this film was produced (though oddly enough it was filmed in Algiers). Continue reading