977 Winter 2020 Costa-Gavras’s Triumphant Z and Its Political Reflections on the 1960s
Thursday, 2:15–3:40, Feb. 20
Instructor: Patricia Means
"Any similarity to real persons and events is not coincidental. It is intentional." Thus begins Costa-Gavras’s film Z, released to an adoring global audience in 1969. His political thriller not only catapulted him to prominence, but made for the perfect filmic ending for a bleak decade of political violence and assassinations. Confrontational scenes and secrets whip across Greece and Algeria as the story, a thinly veiled fictional account of real events, unravels the facts, alibis, and political cover-ups that followed the 1963 assassination of Greek opposition party leader Grigoris Lambrakis. This presentation will celebrate Z’s cinematic accomplishments (the film was linked to the Italian
neo-realism movement) and explore why its themes provide still-frightening parallels to the dark missteps of US intelligence in the 1960s and 1970s.
Patty Zubeck Means is an instructor with the National Archives and an associate professor of English and literature at Northern Virginia Community College. She has taught at the University of Maryland and The George Washington University. She has also worked as a film director and film editor.