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Nominated for Best Picture in 1969 and just as relevant TODAY as it was upon its release, Z is a powerful political thriller.

Director Costa-Gavras (The Missing) blazed a new trail in the late sixties, filling this film with fast cuts, propulsive music and non-stop movement that William Freidkin would adopt just two years later with "The French Connection".

When a prominent leftist speaker Z (Yves Montand) arrives to make an important political speech, the threats on his life are immediate and well known.

Watching his speech and its immediate aftermath in real time, you witness a sudden hit and run victimizing Z and a blast of confusion and explosive crowd violence that lasts for ten minutes.

What's soon apparent to the police and a young idealistic magistrate is that this was not a hit and run, but a carefully planned assassination attempt.

As the magistrate begins to investigate, he is blocked at every point by the police and senior government officials.

For the last half hour of the film, you watch the magistrate interview the accusers, intimidated witnesses and an ever escalating group of officials.

Costa-Gavras doesn't construct a predictable path. He pulls you deep into the conspiracy, fills you with hope that right will prevail and then buries you in the oppressive weight of the real people in power. It's a thInly veiled reference to the true story of Greek corruption and political power in his homeland.

This was the first film to be nominated for Oscars for Best Film and Best Foreign Film the same year.

Low budget but well shot and powerfully acted by an international cast, Z has a lot to say and its messages are just as important today as they were over 50 years ago when it was released.

Z gets an A.

In French with English subtitles.

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