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Triple Agent (2004)

Triple agent (original title)
France, 1936-37. The Popular Front wins elections, the Spanish Civil War begins, and Hitler and Stalin are manipulating and spying. The brilliant exile, Fiodor Voronin, a general at 20, is ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katerina Didaskalou ...
Arsinoé
Serge Renko ...
Fiodor
...
Maguy
Grigori Manoukov ...
Boris
Dimitri Rafalsky ...
Gen. Dobrinsky
Nathalia Krougly ...
La Générale
Amanda Langlet ...
Janine
Jeanne Rambur ...
Dany
Emmanuel Salinger ...
André
Vitalyi Cheremet ...
Alexis Tcherepnine
Bernard Peysson ...
Le médecin
Laurent Le Doyen ...
Le journaliste
Emilie Fourrier ...
L'aide-couturière
Alexandre Koltchak ...
Planton
Vladimir Léon ...
Tchernov
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Storyline

France, 1936-37. The Popular Front wins elections, the Spanish Civil War begins, and Hitler and Stalin are manipulating and spying. The brilliant exile, Fiodor Voronin, a general at 20, is the deputy at the White Russian Military Union, probably slated to replace the aging Général Dobrinsky soon. Fiodor's Greek wife, Arsinoé, paints and stays away from politics, befriending Communist neighbors. Her health declines; the attentive Fiodor arranges care and, against the backdrop of Stalin's Great Purge, considers his options. He plays a chess game in which love of country, love of Arsinoé, ideology, petty jealousies, and the machinations of power roil in matters of life and death. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama | Thriller

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Release Date:

17 March 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Triple Agent  »

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Soundtracks

Chanson des jeunes Travailleurs
Music by Dmitri Shostakovich (as Dimitri Chostakovitch)
Lyrics by Jeanne Perret
Performed by La Chorale Populaire de Paris
© Editions La Chant du Monde
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User Reviews

 
Eric Rohmer as an Acquired Taste
11 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Eric Rohmer will undoubtedly sustain in cinema history as a unique writer and director of French films. He is far more interested in dialogue, conversation among his characters, and ideas than he is in plot or storyline development. His films affect many as too didactic, too much like a lecture series on current events or historical events to be considered a movie. Perhaps that is the case, as watching a Rohmer film takes total concentration and thinking.

Such is the case for his 2004 TRIPLE AGENT. Set in Paris of 1936-37, it is essentially a re-thinking of a true story that about a spy, a bit of history that is still unsolved. To understand this film requires a working knowledge of the political movements intertwining during the time: France's Popular Front, Hitler's rising influence in Europe, the Stalinist era, the Spanish Civil War with Franco and his adversaries, etc. The mix is all placed in the thoughts and discussions of Fyodor Voronin (Serge Renko), his Greek painter wife Arsinoé (Katerina Didaskalu) and their interactions with the changing people of the political ploys (played with sincere verve by Cyrielle Claire, Grigori Manukov, Dimitri Rafalsky, Nathalia Krougly, Amanda Langlet, Jeanne Rambur, Georges Benoît, Emmanuel Salinger among the large and confusing cast). The 'story' emerges from Fyodor's relationship to the political leanings that pull his attention away from Arsinoé and the complications of his physical structure with his intense involvement in the political and ideological climes.

The film works for those with enough savvy to catch all the intrigues of that period in European history. But for a film so completely dependent on rhetoric and smart dialogue this project suffers greatly from the poor subtitles: while most of the French is translated for us, much of the Russian and German is not, as though we all have access to those languages. The result is a static, dry, intense film in which much is lost due to technical flaws. The cast is excellent but the editing and clarity of each character's role falls by the wayside far too often. Rohmer's genius is there, but it is an acquired taste. Would that the viewer had the background knowledge somehow supplied to support the fine story that is being related! Grady Harp


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