Costa Gravas, lessons in political awareness from the cinema.

GENERAL 18 de enero de 2022
By Pepe Gutierrez-Alvarez. Translation from Spanish.
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The veteran filmmaker Constantin Costa Gavras (Loutra Iraias, Greece, 1933) nationalized French in 1956, in the mid-sixties he made his directorial debut with "The Rails of Crime" (1965), thanks to the help given by some actor friends who agreed to intervene in the film without receiving salary. Based on a novel by Sebastien Japrisot, this feature film would be articulated as an oppressive thriller that showed the most sinister aspects of the everyday environment, a "noir" of the good ones, and interpreted with conviction by the family clan made up of Simona Signoret, Ives Montand and Catherine Allègret, fruit of the marriage between Simonee Ives Allègret.

This film is also an example of how "noir" helps to create a police-political plot with which to describe the "Lambrakis case" (Ives Montand turned into his fetish actor). With it, Constantin won the Oscar (1969) for the best film in his non-English speaking condition. In "The Trail of Betrayal" (1988), he reflects the latent racism of someone who seems like a good guy in deep North America. Although his masterpiece may be The Music Box (1989), a melodrama with magnificent actors that revolves around the Nazi genocides hidden in (and by) the United States after the fall of the Hitler regime, a story that has abundant Hispanic parallels . reflects the latent racism of someone who seems like a nice guy in deep America. Although his masterpiece may be The Music Box (1989), a melodrama with magnificent actors that revolves around the Nazi genocides hidden in (and by) the United States after the fall of the Hitler regime, a story that has abundant Hispanic parallels . reflects the latent racism of someone who seems like a nice guy in deep America. Although his masterpiece may be The Music Box (1989), a melodrama with magnificent actors that revolves around the Nazi genocides hidden in (and by) the United States after the fall of the Hitler regime, a story that has abundant Hispanic parallels .

Under the guise of kind grandparents and peaceful farm workers, as these tapes show, a racist murderer of Jews or blacks can hide, whom not even his family has ever come to recognize in this facet, until a certain event causes the collapse of the appearance . A film that would allow an exciting debate adapting it a bit to our closest story. Devoured by that "political cinema" label, any attempt by Costa Gavras to flee to other territories has been systematically rejected by critics and viewers. "Clair de femme" (1977), about the existential crisis of a woman affected by the death of her son, or "Mad City" (1997), a thriller starring John Travolta and Dustin Hoffman, have marked the great box office failures, but which should be rediscovered.

The breadth and closeness of Costa Gavras's social and political outlook has led him to concern himself with the past and present of countries plagued by imperialism, which he challenges without hesitation in works as vibrant as "State of Siege" (1972) or “Missing” (Disappeared), which deal with torture, systematic disappearances, the radical evil of dictatorial regimes sponsored by the Empire through the CIA. In the first of them it is about Uruguay, in the second, about Chile with. “Missing” was shot in English for Hollywood with such prestigious actors as Jack Lemmon and Sucy Spacek. It demonstrated the complicity of the United States with the coup by Augusto Pinochet, a coup applauded by the elites. A complaint that in another time would have sparked waves of demonstrations, but now it remained as one more testimony of the pain that those in charge could cause. Server will never forget that when leaving the cinema my partner at the time asked me please not to take her to see more movies in which the only thing that was achieved was to suffer and eat your impotence. I heard a similar reaction after seeing Amen, in which Costa-Gravas denounced the good relations that existed between the Vatican and Hitler. Among the group of people who went out with us, a harsh discussion arose because part of those present He complained that the others had taken him to see Nazi movies in which the only thing that was achieved was suffering. Server will never forget that when leaving the cinema my partner at the time asked me please not to take her to see more movies in which the only thing that was achieved was to suffer and eat your impotence. I heard a similar reaction after seeing Amen, in which Costa-Gravas denounced the good relations that existed between the Vatican and Hitler. Among the group of people who went out with us, a harsh discussion arose because part of those present He complained that the others had taken him to see Nazi movies in which the only thing that was achieved was suffering. Server will never forget that when leaving the cinema my partner at the time asked me please not to take her to see more movies in which the only thing that was achieved was to suffer and eat your impotence. I heard a similar reaction after seeing Amen, in which Costa-Gravas denounced the good relations that existed between the Vatican and Hitler. Among the group of people who went out with us, a harsh discussion arose because part of those present He complained that the others had taken him to see Nazi movies in which the only thing that was achieved was suffering.

Although the cinema is not entirely cinema outside a projection room, in the immensity of the room, in the midst of a crowd that shares joy and emotions, it is still interesting that already out-of-print films can be seen at home, although it would be much more exciting to do it from conferences or cycles in which information is previously provided, and the conditions for a debate are created.

but his most controversial and "cursed" work is "Hanna K" (1974), for which he was accused of being anti-Semite, so that the film was barely seen. I think that passing it through some places will be "like a premiere".

At a certain moment Costa-Gavras was claimed by the Hollywood studios and, once there, he did not forget to tell them about his miseries. Returning to Europe, he stumbled across the Vatican in a film – “Amen” – a must-see. But since these things cannot be done, I would include them in a cycle together with others like Arcadia, which would help us deal with unemployment or Capital, which would allow us to study the mechanisms of democracy that really exists. In short, his cinema composes a political chronicle of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, although his latest installments have not enjoyed the same audience, and in some cases are debatable, as in the case of the one made together with Yanis Varoufakis .

Almost 90 years old, Gavras, like our Ken Loach -with whom he is linked by so many communicating vessels- maintains a combative young spirit that has amazed the young people who at the Lyon festival have come across the work of one of the 68 whose legacy deserves to be recovered, and part of which can be found on the FILMIN platform, by far the most socially advanced of all existing ones.

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