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Costa-Gavras, guest of honour

Prestigious guest of the third edition of BRIFF, the Franco-Greek filmmaker have done us the immense honour of his presence through a master class and a retrospective of six films that illustrate the eclecticism of an exceptional career.

After fleeing Greece at the age of 19, he studied film in Paris and soon began his career as an assistant director to Henri Verneuil, Jacques Demy and René Clément. Z, his first major opus, is a worldwide success, which was awarded by the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969 and with the Oscar for best foreign film in 1970. From then on, Costa-Gavras made a series of politically committed films such as L’Aveu which shakes up the Manichean thoughts of that time, Etat de Siège and Missing, which won the Palme d’Or in 1982. The greatest actors and actresses are present in his work to embody its complex characters (Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Romy Schneider…). His talent as a storyteller and director opened the doors of American studios to him, with whom he made disturbing, personal and critical films such as Betrayed, Music Box and Mad City.

In a career spanning nearly 60 years, Costa-Gavras has never ceased to question history, power, totalitarian abuses, injustices and preconceptions. With Le Couperet, a funny and caustic social thriller, Costa-Gavra attacks a new modern enemy, that of capital’s money, which he denounces again in his latest opus to date Adults in the room, a brilliant – and alas, realistic – farce against European bureaucracy and the management of the Greek crisis.

This year, the BRIFF has payed tribute to this immense, profoundly contemporary and ever searching filmmaker, who has been changing the ways of cinema through six major titles in his filmography.

Costa-Gavras was present to talk about his work during a master class at the end of the screening of Betrayed

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