Biography of Constantin Costa-Gavras (1933-VVVV)

Film director greco-frances, born February 13, 1933 in Loutra Iraias (Greece).

Few directors throughout history have managed to become referents intellectuals in Europe, generating with their statements and numerous films political and social disputes that are capable of reaching global resonance. Aupado artist committed to his time Costa-Gavras always has been in the eye of the hurricane, but especially during the decades of the sixties and the seventies, so each milestone of his filmography is still object more found reactions. Rated by many as a serious, rigorous filmmaker and with special sensitivity when it comes to put the finger in the sore on the evils of humanity, for others it is a Manichean, simpleton and opportunistic creator. His film thus has never stopped anyone indifferent, as fictional witness of major historical convulsions of the 20th century.

Born in Greece with the name of Konstantinos Gavras began as a dancer before exile to France for studying Philology at the Sorbonne University. However, that target ended up twisting entering shortly afterwards in the Instituto de Altos Estudios Cinematográficos as runway for his true vocation: the becoming director. After nearly ten years as Assistant to directors of the prestige of Yves Allégret, René Clair or Jacques Demy, and once naturalised Frenchman in 1956, in the mid-1960s will be fulfilled this dream to debut as a director with the rails of the crime (1965) thanks to the assistance provided by some friends actors who agreed to intervene in the film without salary. Based on a novel by Sebastien Japrisot, this film would be articulate as an oppressive thriller showing the more sinister aspects of the everyday environment, a trait that is common in the later films of Costa-Gavras.

Thus, in the next shade a man (1966) the French resistance is a mere backdrop to the analysis of human relationships and moral turbidity that person can hide more seemingly anodyne. Theme returns to emerge in a recurrent way in other titles as the path of betrayal (1988), about the latent racism in the deep North America, or in the magnificent melodrama box music (1989), which revolves around the hidden Nazi mass murderers in United States after the fall of the regime of Hitler. Under the guise of kindly grandparents and gentle farm workers can hide, as reflected in these tapes, a racist murderer of Jews or blacks to you or your family has come to recognise never in his facet as psychopaths until a certain event caused the collapse of all that virtual building.

The extent of the social and political look of Constantin Costa-Gavras has also led him to worry about the past and present of countries hit by torture, systematic disappearances of individuals or dictatorial regimes. Despite the unequivocal denunciation which his films made of these situations, the look of Costa-Gavras has positioned itself always in a kind of no man's land naturalist away from Manichaeism, and the stereotype. Hence precisely that his films caused in the years sixties and seventies angry reactions by asepsis that this director was intended to give up its most politicized productions. And it is that you despite being considered in justice as the main initiator of the so-called "political cinema", his films try to transcend the historical juncture that addresses the argument to become universal symbols against intolerance, repression and lack of freedom, is an ideological sign or otherwise.

From Z (1968), won the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival and two Oscar-nominated, the name of Costa-Gavras has been seen as an example of upholding by the European left values and whose complaint must be constant. Abuse of Greek fascism, of Soviet Stalinism, us in Latin America imperialism and the French Collaborationism, were dissected by the director in films such as Z, the confession (1970), State of siege (1972) or special section (1974), respectively. Titles which in turn is ambientaban in different historical eras, including the most rabid present, and which sought to arouse the reflection of viewers about the timelessness and universality of the repressive mechanisms of the totalitarian States.

Devoured by the tag of the "political cinema", any attempt of escape by Costa-Gavras to other territories has systematically rejected by critics and viewers. Clair de femme (1977), about the existential crisis of a woman affected by the death of his son, or Mad City (1997), thriller starring John Travolta and Dustin Hoffman, has marked big failures of box office of this prestigious filmmaker, awarded even an Oscar and the Golden Palm of Cannes by the cruel portrait of the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet path disappeared (1982).

Thus the things, and after a brief stint as President of the Cinémathèque Française at the beginning of the eighties, in 1993 tried to settle scores with a generation and in particular the old leftists staid than decades ago had labeled him even conservative. In that sense you Petite Apocalypse (1993) appears as a turning point in his film career, a harsh satire about revolutionaries of May 1968 and its progressive rise in the capitalist social scale due to the propaganda of the mass media.

In 2001 he presented the film Amen, while in 2005 he did the same with him the AX. That same year received the Liber-Press Award, given by the Association of the same name that recognizes the work of journalists and artists who have distinguished themselves for their work on behalf of freedom of the press and the denunciation of injustices.


As director:

1965: The crimen.1966 Rails: spare a hombre.1968: z. 1970: the confesion.1972: sitio.1975 status: section especial.1979: Clair de femme.1982: disappeared. 1983: Hanna k. 1985: Council of familia.1988: Summer Lightning; The path of the traicion.1990: music box. 1993: Le Petite Apocalypse.1995: À propos de Nice, the suite (Co-Director). 1997: Mad City. 2001: Amen.2005: Le couperet.

As an actor:

1977: La Vie devant soi. 1985: Spies like us; The tea to the harem of arquimedes.1996: The Stupids. 1998: Enredando sombras.

As an Assistant of direction:

1958: L'ambitieuse. 1960: Cresus. 1961: All the gold of the mundo.1962: A monkey in winter; The angeles.1963 Bay: the day and the time. 1964: The cats; Exhaust open.


MICHALCZYK, John J. Costa-Gavras: The Political Fiction Film. (Philadelphia, 1984).

L Fernández Colorado