Costas Gavras

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Costa Gavras
The poster for Z

Constantinos Gavras (born February 12, 1933, Loutra-Iraias, Greece), better known as Costa-Gavras, is a Greek-French filmmaker best known for films with overt political themes. He has made movies mostly in French but also several in English.

In Z (1969), an investigator, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, tries to uncover the truth about the murder of a prominent leftist politician, played by Yves Montand, while government officials and the military attempt to cover up their roles. The film is a fictionalised account of the events surrounding the assassination of Greek polititian Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963. Z won an Oscar for "Best Foreign Language Film" .

State of Siege, (1973), is set in a fictionalized South American country (modelled on Uruguay) under a military dictatorship in the early 1970s. A radical leftist group kidnaps an American embassy official loosely based on the case of CIA torture expert Dan Mitrione. Starring Yves Montand.

Missing (1982) is about an American journalist, Charles Horman, who disappeared in the bloody coup of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile in 1973. His father, played by Jack Lemmon, and wife, played by Sissy Spacek, search in vain to determine his fate. Based on a true story. When the film was released by Universal Studios, Nathaniel Davis, US ambassador to Chile from 1971-1973, filed a US$150 million libel suit against the studio, even though he was not directly named. The film won an Oscar for "Best Screenplay Adaptation".

In The Music Box (1989) a respected naturalized American citizen (played by Armin Mueller-Stahl) is accused of being a Nazi war criminal.

Amen (2003) alleges that Pope Pius XII was aware of the plight of the Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, several years after the issue was widely considered to be settled in favor of the Pope's innocence.


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