Each one of its films is for him the occasion to testify to its engagement in its ideas and to deliver a message in connection with the to be able. Yesterday thriller political and sentimental drama; today, social-fiction.
When it leaves Athens to come to Paris, it begin with a license from literature, then it enters to the Institute of the High Cinematographic Studies (IDHEC) and works as assistant for Henri Verneuil, Jacques Demy and Rene Clément.
The film the Day and the Hour , for which he works as assistant, enables him to meet Simone Signoret and Yves Montand, with which he will become very friendly. Discovering the book Compartment killers of Sebastien Japrisot, it made the scenario of it and succeeds in interesting in it the producer Julien Derode ; the film had success in France and even with the the United States, where it accepted dithyrambic criticisms.
It is at the time of a stay in Greece, that he discovers the book of Vassilis Vassilikos, Z , recalling the assassination of the leader of the left organized by the police force and camouflaged in banal accident. As of its return he writes of it the scenario in collaboration with Jorge Semprún. Not finding the financing, he speaks about it with Jacques Perrin, which he knew since the film Compartiment killers. It is on this occasion that Jacques Perrin will create his own production company to assemble film and to use its contacts, in particular in Algérie, where the film will be made. Jean-Louis Trintignant accepted a weak seal and Yves Montand agreed to take part. The film was a success throughout the world and people applauded at the end of the meetings; it was rewarded by the “price for the Jury” in Cannes, the Oscar of “Best foreign film” and that of the “Best assembly”.
During the assembly of “ Z ”, during the dinner of Christmas, Claude Lanzmann speaks to him about Dye stick and Artur London which had been vice-minister of the Foreign affairs of Czechoslovakia and was one of the three survivors of the Procès of Prague which had been held in 1952. Many intellectuals of its generation had been filled with enthusiasm for the Stalinisme “ because it opened prospects which appeared formidable. Until, little by little, one becomes aware of the back of the decoration ”. Yves Montand also adheres to the project of the Consent , and the financings are released thanks to the success of “ Z ”.
the Consent left after “ Z ”, in one time enough manichéenne: one reproached him for tackling the line then the left, whereas he wanted only to denounce totalitarianisms. Certain people did not forgive him to have raised the veil on the Stalinisme and avoided openly it. The film was a considerable success and became a true political and cultural phenomenon which upset its time.
The film Clair of woman (1979) is drawn from a novel of Romain Gary which estimated that it was the first time that it was content with the adaptation of one of his works to the screen. Costa-Gavras was allured in this history by the fact that it was about a “ attempt of profanation of misfortune, one anthem to the life and a rehabilitation of the couple ”. Dustin Hoffman regarded this film as more the beautiful story of love which he knows and, during the turning of the film Mad City , suggested in Costa-Gavras making a remake of it.
The scenario of the film Reported missing ( Missing ) (1982) book of Thomas Hauser is adapted: “ Execution of Charles Horman ” even inspired to him of a true story. The film tells the history of the disappearance of a young American journalist during the coup d'etat of the general Augusto Pinochet in 1973. What had touched it in this history, was “ much less the political context of the putsch that the topic of the father who, accompanied by his daughter-in-law, seeks his/her son costs whom costs in a country in full chaos . ”
The film was very discussed with the the United States because it clarifies the action of the agents of the US government and their responsibility in this coup d'etat. Did the American extreme-right-hand side require “ But what comes to make this European Communist here? ”. However the film accepted the Palme of gold and the Prix of male interpretation to the Cannes festival, and the Oscar of the “Best scenario”, and it always is shown and presented like a major film in the large American universities. The musics are of another famous Greek, Vangelis.
Those which work with him call Costar-tie.
In the Years 1980, it occupies the position of president of the French Cinémathèque.
He is member of the committee of sponsorship of the French Coordination for the Decade of the culture of peace and non-violence.
June 13rd, 2007, it is named president and administrator of the French Cinémathèque.
- For Z in 1969:
- Price of the Jury to the Cannes festival;
- Oscar of the best foreign film and Oscar of the best assembly.
- For Reported missing in 1982:
- Palm of gold and Price of interpretation to the Cannes festival;
- Oscar of the best original screenplay to Hollywood.
- Bear of gold with Berlin for Music Box in 1989.
- For Amen. (2002):
Catalog of films
as a realizer
- 1958 : the Spleens
- 1965: Compartment killers
- 1967: a man of too
- 1969: Z
- 1970: the Consent
- 1973: State of siege
- 1975: Special section
- 1979: Clearly of woman
- 1982: Reported missing ( Missing )
- 1983: Hanna K
- 1985: Board of guardians
- 1988: the right hand of the devil ( Betrayed )
- 1989: Music box
- 1991: For Kim Song-Man
- 1991: Against the lapse of memory corealized with Chantal Akerman, Rene Allio
- 1992: the Small Apocalypse
- 1995: Light and company corealized with Lasse Hallström, Abbas Kiarostami
- 1995: In connection with Nice, the continuation corealized with Catherine Breillat
- 1997: Mad City
- 2001 : Amen
- 2005: the Chopper
as a 1st assistant realizer
- 1960 : Crésus assistant realizer of Jean Giono
- 1962: a monkey in winter assistant realizer of Henri Verneuil
- 1963: the Bay of the Angels assistant of Jacques Demy
- 1964: free Exhaust assistant of Jean Becker
- 1964: the Day and the Hour assistant of Rene Clement
- 1964: Cat-like the assistant of Rene Clement
As a scenario writer
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