There are movies about politics, and then there are political movies. The former may or may not have a political agenda; the latter would not exist without a political agenda. In the case of Costa-Gavras’ masterpiece, Z, the filmmaker’s politics are bracingly clear. As a barely fictionalized account of the assassination of leftist Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963, and the subsequent cover-up, Z is a taut thriller. As a portrait of the extreme Right’s reliance on thuggery and outright murder to silence opponents, Z is a searing indictment of the near-pornographic appeal that violence, in all its forms, holds for fascists. Finally, as a movie, Z is simply a tour de force: one would be very hard-pressed to find a film that gets one’s heart racing as forcefully (and rightfully) as it stokes one’s moral outrage at the prospect of a once-great political system willfully devouring itself.