Oct 24, 2011

30th Oct 2011; Costa Gavras's MISSING

A Film by Costa Gavras
Year 1982
English with English sub titles
30th Oct 2011; 5.45pm
Perks Mini Theater
Perks School

Costa-Gavras ("State Of Siege"/"Z"/"The Sleeping Car Murder") directs a powerful, influential and tense political thriller based on a true story of the execution of a left-wing young journalist during Chile's military coup in 1973, supposedly because he knew something that would involve his government in the coup. The controversial film unabashedly tells about the covert US involvement in the 1973 military coup of the democratically elected socialist Chilean president, Salvador Allende, something denied by the Nixon administration. It's based on lawyer Thomas Hauser's book The Execution Of Charles Horman, and is tautly and passionately co-written by Costa-Gavras and Donald Stewart.

It's the first English speaking Hollywood film made by Costa-Gavras. Jack Lemmon gives one of his best performances ever, earning him an Oscar nomination for best actor. It did win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was shot in Mexico.
Conservative Christian Science New York businessman Ed Horman (Jack Lemmon) travels to Santiago, Chile, when his counterculture daughter-in-law Beth Horman (Sissy Spacek) informs him her spirited offbeat writer and filmmaker husband Charlie (John Shea) is inexplicably missing after the bloody right-wing military coup in September and the American Embassy is not helpful.
What's haunting is the violent street scenes and the excessive force mounted by the ominous military patrols, as they crackdown on curfew violators and known political rivals in a mind-boggling brutal fashion. They act like fascists, bolstered by their unreported American advisers, intimidating the population to the point that even during an earthquake the citizens fear going outside and violating the curfew.
Few films impact real life like do the films of Costa-Gavras. This one rattled the US government so much, that upon the film's release in 1982 the then-Secretary of State Alexander Haig, appointed by President Reagan, was forced to issue indisputable denials of the film's allegations--a statement only believed by the gullible. (Source:Internet)


Costa-Gavras,( born 12 February 1933) is a Greek filmmaker, who lives and works in France, best known for films with overt political themes, most famously the fast-paced thriller, Z (1969). Most of his movies were made in French; starting with Missing (1982), several were made in English.

Gavras was born in, Arcadia. His family spent the Second World War in a village in the Peloponnese, and moved to Athens after the war Costa Gavras went to France, where he began his studies of law in 1951.

Costa Gavras is known for merging controversial political issues with the entertainment value of commercial cinema. Law and justice, oppression, legal/illegal violence, and torture are common subjects in his work, especially relevant to his earlier films. Costa Gavras is an expert of the “statement” picture. In most cases, the targets of Gavras's work have been right-of-center movements and regimes, including Greek conservatives in and out of the military in Z, and authoritarian governments that ruled much of Latin America during the height of the Cold War, as in State of Siege and Missing.

In a broader sense, this emphasis continues with Amen. given its focus on the conservative leadership of the Catholic Church during the 1940s. In this political context, L'Aveu (The Confession) provides the exception, dealing as it does with oppression on the part of a Communist regime during the Stalinist period.

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