The most effervescent of political-conspiracy thrillers, much closer to the Revolutionary spirit of the late 60s than the bone-deep cynicism of e.g. ILLUSTRIOUS CORSPES a few years later.
Be it silent flashback montages that sharply interject themselves into the present-day action, or cross-cutting that works in tandem with handheld cinematography to create a sense of thrilling urgency, Z proves to be a taut, engrossing journey through a thicket of institutional corruption. It’s a procedural about individual and national crimes against democracy (and the truth) that’s ultimately so bleak, it almost veers into jet-black comedy.
Costa-Gavras maintains an emphatically attentive tone, delivered with vitality and commitment. He maps the surge of conflicting characters by delineating their operative essences and charting their respective channels with thrilling tension. It takes a team to harness this demonstrative tide of outrage and anxiety, and from the visceral intensity of the camera’s movement, to the frenzied editing and the pulsating urgency of the hyperreal climate, it all stems from a consortium of technique.