The Confession Screen 5 articles

The Confession


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  • The film’s most interesting aspect is the twisted logic that Ludvik’s tormenters use to wear down his resistance over time. It’s like a master class in how to create a bad syllogism. Too much of the time, however, The Confession just watches Ludvik suffer, reducing him to a pitiable but dramatically negligible victim.

  • Costa-Gavras’s vision of horror as "a mere formality," experienced by the survivor who returns to Prague in ‘68 to find tanks in the street and graffiti on the wall: "Wake up, Lenin! All’s gone mad!"

  • To call The Confession a political film is something of a misnomer and a disservice to what could have been a starker, more hard-edged direction for art-house cinema to take, fusing the formal capabilities of narrative cinema with the dialogic capabilities of the avant-garde. Ultimately, The Confession makes Z look like a warm-up, even a naïve grappling with the unfortunate particulars of a torrid human condition.

  • In painstakingly revealing the depraved and nightmarish quality of this process of self-implication, and thus exposing the darkest aspects of Soviet bloc Communism, The Confession establishes itself as one of the toughest political films ever made... The Confession was the first film that zeroed in on torture as a seemingly endless ordeal, a systematic and relentless process aimed at delivering a specific outcome.

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    Sight & Sound: Michael Atkinson
    July 03, 2015 | August 2015 Issue (p. 96)

    The movie is made with Costa-Gavras's customary brio and confidence; a potentially repetitive or even dull movie spectacle (sleep deprivation etc) is fashioned into a mega-charged ordeal, with even the most ordinary two-people-in-a-room scene galvanised by a hunting camera, breathless cuts and a scrupulous attention to gazes locking and crossing over space.

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