Skip to main content

// Films // Z


Costa Gavras / France - Algeria / 1969 / 127 ' / French / S.T. English


Françoise Bonnot
Jorge Semprún & Costa Gavras
Raoul Coutard
Mikis Theodorakis
Jacques Perrin & Ahmed Rachedi
Story: Vassilis Vassilikos
Distributed by: Cinema V (US)

Awards & Festivals

1969 Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor, Jean-Louis Trintignant; Jury Prize, Costa-Gavras, Unanimously
New York Film Critics Circle Awards: NYFCC Award, Best Director, Costa-Gavras; Best Film; 1969
Academy Awards: Oscar, Best Film Editing, Françoise Bonnot; Best Foreign Language Film, Algeria; 1970. Note: It was the first film to be nominated for Academy Awards both for Best Foreign Language Film and for Best Picture
Golden Globes: Golden Globe, Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film, Algeria; 1970
British Academy of Film and Television Arts: Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music, Mikis Theodorakis; 1970
Edgar Award: Edgar, Best Motion Picture, Jorge Semprún and Costa-Gavras; 1970
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA: NSFC Award Best Film; 1970
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1970: Circle Awards: KCFCC Award, Best Foreign Film; 1971
Cannes Film Festival: Golden Palm, Costa-Gavras, 1969.
Academy Awards: Oscar, Best Director, Costa-Gavras; Best Picture, Jacques Perrin and Ahmed Rachedi; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Jorge Semprún and Costa-Gavras; 1970.
British Academy of Film and Television Arts: BAFTA Film Award, Best Film; Best Film Editing, Françoise Bonnot; Best Screenplay, Costa-Gavras and Jorge Semprún; UN Award; 1970.
Directors Guild of America, USA: DGA Award, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Costa-Gavras; 1970

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

previously screened

In Production

A fictionalized account of government hypocrisy and cover-up of a real-life political assassination


This 1969 political thriller directed by Costa Gavras chronicles the overthrow of the democratic government in Greece. Based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Vassilis Vassilikos, the film presents a thinly fictionalized account of the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Gregoris Lambrakis in 1963. The film's title refers to the popular Greek protest slogan "Ζει", meaning "he lives."

When the popular liberal politician is murdered in an attack during a peace demonstration, the right wing established figures in the military and the police try and hide not only their parts in it, but try to cover up the murder as well. The magistrate must act as a detective in order to go through the cover up. While historically accurate, it is told as a combination mystery and thriller.  

With its satirical view of Greek politics, its dark sense of humor, and its chilling ending, the film captures the sense of outrage about the military dictatorship that ruled Greece at the time of its making.  

Z stars Jean-Louis Trintignant as the investigating magistrate. International stars Yves Montand and Irene Papas have supporting roles. Score by Mikis Theodorakis.


Join us on Facebook