The powerful brand of political muckraking pioneered in the 1960s by the Greek filmmaker Constantin Costa-Gavras has largely fallen from favor, replaced by the sloppy, self-serving outbursts of oafs like Michael Moore. An opponent of tyranny in any form and under any flag, Costa-Gavras indicted right-wing Greek militarism in his landmark thriller Z, left-wing Czech witchhunts in The Confession, and CIA chicanery in State of Siege. Now seventy, Costa-Gavras may have lost his prominence in the film community, but he remains hard at work. Last year he directed Amen, a historical thriller that, like Rolf Hochhuth's controversial play The Deputy, addresses the thorny issue of Pope Pius XII's silence and the Catholic Church's failure to stem the Nazi Holocaust.
A fierce j'accuse that ranks with Costa-Gavras's best work, the film combines all of his trademarks: eloquent moral outrage, high style and dramatic tension. The anguish he feels over the Church's irresponsibility is equaled by the vigor of his intellect and the virtuosity of his filmmaking. A dedicated student of history, literature and film, Costa-Gavras remains one of the world's great directors, and this new cry of the heart couldn't come at a better time. As war rages in the Middle East, the exercise of political power by democracies and tyrants has rarely felt so unsettling. Amen screens on Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13, as part of the University of Colorado's International Film Series; shows are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium, on the Boulder campus. For more information, call 303-492-1531 or visit www.internationalfilmseries.com .
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