Death of the writer Vilis Vilikos, author of the novel Z adapted for the cinema


By Le Figaro with AFP

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Chronicler of contemporary Greece and tireless socialist activist, he was elected in 2019 at the age of 85 as a member of the Greek parliament. GIORGOS KONTARINIS/EUROKINISSI / AFP

His masterpiece Z, published in 1966, was translated into 32 languages ​​and the film, directed by Costa-Gavras, was screened around the world. He won two prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and two Oscars.

The author of the indictment novel Z against the dictatorship of the colonels in Greece, later adapted for the cinema by Costa-Gavras, Vilis Vilikosdied Thursday at the age of 90 in Athens, his daughter, Euridice Vilikou-Papantoniou, announced to AFP. “He had been unwell for several days and was hospitalized,” she said without further details.

His masterpiece Zpublished in 1966 a year before the junta came to power, was adapted for the cinema by the Greek-French director Costa-Gavras three years later with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand and music by Mikis Theodorakis. “It’s an emotional shock. We saw Vilis the day before yesterday, he was so happy to see us,” Michèle Costa-Gavras, the director’s wife, who arrived in Athens to see her “dear friend,” told AFP.

Parisian exile

The novel has been translated into 32 languages ​​and the film screened around the world. He won two prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and two Oscars. In 1967, the artist appeared on the priority arrest list of the Greek police. A year earlier, he had recounted in Z the ination of a left-wing deputy, Gregorios Lambrakis. Like all of Vilikos’ works, this story remained banned during the seven years of military dictatorship that the writer spent in exile, mainly in Paris.

Born on November 18, 1933 in Kavala, Vilikos grew up in Thessaloniki, the second Greek city in northern Greece. A student at a French high school, he is pionate about Gide, Sartre And Camus. After studying law, he studied directing for television in the United States.

Back in Athens, he worked as a journalist and screenwriter. After his Parisian exile, he returned to Athens in 1974 and became a columnist for a major newspaper. His “zoological sheets” where he compares the ancient torturers to various prehistoric animals are particularly appreciated.

Chronicler of contemporary Greece and tireless socialist activist, he was elected in 2019 at the age of 85 as a member of the Greek parliament under the label of Syriza, the main opposition party.

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