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The Confession (1970) L'aveu [The Criterion Collection]

The Confession (1970)
BDRip | MKV | 720 x 432 | x264 @ 850 Kbps | 139 min | 990 Mb
Audio: French AAC 1.0 @ 95 Kbps | Subs: English (idx/sub)
Genre: Drama, Thriller | A film by Costa-Gavras

The master of the political thriller, Costa-Gavras became an instant phenomenon after the mammoth success of Z, and he quickly followed it with the equally riveting The Confession. Based on a harrowing true story from the era of Soviet bloc show trials, the film stars Yves Montand as a Czechoslovak Communist Party official who, in the early fifties, is abducted, imprisoned, and interrogated over a frighteningly long period, and left in the dark about his captors' motives. Also starring Simone Signoret and Gabriele Ferzetti, the film is an unflinching, intimate depiction of one of the twentieth century's darkest chapters, told from one bewildered man's point of view.

In "L'Aveau" Costa-Gavras breaks at once and for all in defending one political ideology and attacking the other, like he did in "Z". This time he goes to show that both sides have their problematic aspects, they all make severe mistakes, we can't know which was good and which was bad. The bottom of line is that both with capitalism and communism someone decent always had to pay the prize for trying to do the right thing.

Yves Montand plays the victim once again (murdered in "Z" and arrested by militants in "Etat de Siege" closing the combative Gavras political trilogy, "Missing" goes as an addendum, made years later after those films), a Czech and Communist vice-minister who'll be arrested and suffer on the hands of other members of the party who consider him a traitor of their cause. They believe he was a spy who had connections with American officials and all they want is a full confession of his crimes, which never existed, never happened (and they know that!), using of mental and physical methods to achieve results with the prisoner. The confession extraction is the real purpose to be visualized in here, exploited in painful and realistic details, methods used by the Communist - I recalled some of the descriptions made by Soljenitsin in "Gulag Archipelag", released on the same year as "L'Aveau" - like privation of sleep, keep marching at all times inside of the cell, and many other horrible techniques they used on prisoners during months and years if possible in order to break their resistance and confess everything, real or not.

We have to give plenty of credit to Montand during those scenes, which are not few. Definitely not an easy shooting to make, you feel his exhaustion, weakening each frame goes by, the visible weight-loss, he went to extremes very few actors can reach and no, this isn't much method acting, one does not go in training method for those scenes, he just put himself there at each sequence. It doesn't go well for the character and it sure does not go well with the audience. It's hard to watch since the brutality and the frequency everything happens is so repetitive as if Gavras was trying to make the people in the audience to break out from the movie when in fact he's just being real with the events, causing some stir in us to the point where we ask ourselves how come this guy is not guilty of treason.

In this manifest against the totalitarianism, the writer and director seemed to not making of the Socialists the almost heroes they were in "Z", while investigating the assassination of the popular leader. Their destructive paranoia, the unsubstantial suspicion they had with their own members, it's all a smoke curtain to hide the flaws of bigger people working on the Party and to hide the failures of a deeply flawed and inconsistent regime.

Authentic, honorable and well-acted in all possible ways, just not much easy to endure. But truthful, powerful, haunting and rewarding nonetheless.

The Confession (1970) L'aveu [The Criterion Collection]

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Tags: Confession, Criterion, Collection

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