Tag Archives: political thriller

Z

Thrilling French Algerian political film by Costa Gavras “Z” (1969) mirroring the real life incident in Greek politics of that time.

Yves Montand is Grigoris Lambrakis an upcoming Greek politician stirring up the masses and proving a threat to the present regime of which the army and police are hand in glove with some underground leaders who have thugs with them.

He is due to make a speech but is denied permission to use halls and has to settle for a 200 seater small hall just opposite his hotel. Even while his coterie is there, the army and police use mob to disturb and beat the followers of Dr. Grigoris.

When Dr. Grigoris comes out after making his speech he is run over by a tempo and a man clubbing him on his head. He later dies in the hospital due to that head injury. The army & police try their best to scuttle the investigations, but one magistrate (Jean Louis Trintignant) systematically destroy the army efforts and lands murder charge on all the top army & police brass.

The prologue is important as it shows what happens to the prosecution witnesses and the magistrate and the army people after the charges are laid out. The case never comes to trial.

The Algerian connection was only with reference to the location of the shooting otherwise the enter movie is in French. Gavras has tightly knit this autobiographical story of a political intrigue of the 1960s.

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The Day of the Jackal

Re-read “The Day of the Jackal” the brilliant cult classic book by Frederick Forsyth. I had read this way back in college days, and re-reading it bought back memories.

Jackal aka Chacal aka Charles Calthrop was a professional assassin hired by OAS to kill Charles de Gaulle, the then French President. This had Forsyth brilliance written all over it. Jackal is a thorough professional in all the preparations he makes and the back up plans he has in hand and his quickness and ruthlessness in executing a job were all brilliant. Claude Lebel the detective on the French side charged with the task of bringing Jackal to boot while there was a leak in his ministries.

Forsyth has not mentioned what happened to Jacqueline the mistress of one of the French government officials after her leak was discovered. Nor of the three OAS men who brought Jackal into the picture. So in the end nobody knows, not even the British establishment what was the real identity of Jackal. Goodreads 5/5

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