Z is a 1969 political thriller film directed by Costa-Gavras, from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jorge Semprún, adapted from the 1967 novel of the same name by Vassilis Vassilikos. The film presents a thinly fictionalized account of the events surrounding the assassination of the democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963. With its dark view of Greek politics and its downbeat ending, the film captures the director's outrage about the junta that then ruled Greece. The title refers to a popular Greek protest slogan (, ) meaning "he lives," in reference to Lambrakis.


The film centers on the right-wing, military-dominated government of an unnamed Mediterranean state (based on Greece). The story begins with the closing moments of a rather dull government lecture on agricultural policy until the leader of the security police takes over the podium for an impassioned speech describing the government's program to combat leftism by using the metaphors "a mildew of the mind", an infiltration of "isms" and "sunspots".