Susan Hayward
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Un homme de trop (1967) and Section spéciale (1975)
Justice unravelled, a tale of two Frances (1941 and 1943)
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Two core Costa-Gavras themes, history and the concept of justice, are confronted in Un homme de trop, which marks the beginning and Section spéciale, which marks the end of the filmmaker’s first cycle of political cinema – ‘made in France’. This chapter examines the layered representation of this troubled period in France’s history in terms of aesthetic style and generic type. The chapter also examines the relationship of the adaptation of the novels to France’s political culture over the thirty-year period that separates the events themselves from their representation on screen. History has different tonalities of ‘truth’: lived experience versus journalistic investigation; documented truth in a period of rebuilding France as a nation, versus documentary truth revealed within a period of a nation’s self-reflexivity.

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