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Farewell (2009)
"L'affaire Farewell" (original title)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5,258 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 30 user | 73 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

The French intelligence service alerts the U.S. about a Soviet spy operation during the height of the Cold War, which sets off an unfortunate chain of events.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pierre
...
Grigoriev
...
Jessica
...
Natasha
Philippe Magnan ...
Aleksey Gorbunov ...
Choukhov (as Oleksii Gorbunov)
...
Alina
...
Vallier
...
Hutton
...
...
Marc Berman ...
Jacques
Christian Carion ...
Favier
Evgeniy Kharlanov ...
Igor (as Yevgeni Kharlanov)
Lauriane Riquet ...
Ophelie
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Storyline

In 1985, Sergei Gregoriev, a Soviet colonel, wants to force his nation to reform, so he leaks secret information to the West. He picks an unlikely contact, a Pierre Froment, French nebbish in the diplomatic corps. Gregoriev keeps a lot of balls in the air - a marriage, a teen son he's trying to bond with, a mistress who's a colleague at work; his tradecraft is equally reckless. Meanwhile, Froment keeps his spy work secret from his German wife, and Mitterrand uses Gregoriev's information to make France indispensable to Reagan and his government. When Gregoriev leaks a list of key Soviet moles and spies, Gorbachev is left without secret intelligence. Will Gregoriev get what he wants? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | french | cold war | france | aids | See All (15) »

Taglines:

Secrets have the power to change the course of history.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

| |

Release Date:

23 September 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Farewell  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€17,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Avdeev (Russian ambassador in France who became Russian Culture Minister and who had been expelled from France in 1983 because of Farewell) blocked most Russian actors to play in this movie, including Sergey Makovetskiy and Nikita Mikhalkov, because he did not want to back a movie about a Russian traitor. He also blocked authorizations to film in Moscow, while most of the plot takes place in Moscow. Christian Carion had to pretend to film a Coca Cola advertisement for the few images of the city. See more »

Goofs

There is a picture of General Secretary L.Breznev on the wall in the border crossing office. Actually the General Secretary was Andropov or Chernenko in that time. See more »

Connections

Featured in En bonne intelligence (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Awakening
Written by Cyril Morin
Massive Music/Some Players
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User Reviews

 
A Brilliant Though Densely Dark Film: A Study of the Cold War
20 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Serguei Kostine's book 'Bonjour Farewell' serves as the source of the historical moments of one of the most important fractures in the Cold War in 1981 - the act of valor of Sergei Gregoriev - and the script for this very important and controversial film was written by Eric Reynaud and Christian Carion who also directed this stunning film (he is best remembered for his brilliant 'Joyeux Noël' which incidentally starred many of the actors in this film). It is a disturbing movie to watch, a film that was condemned by the Russian government, disallowing filming in Moscow - except for some undercover camera work for an apparent Coca-Cola commercial, and refusing to allow Russian actors to take part in the project. It reveals the brutality of the Communist regime of the time, a period Russia would prefer to remain occult

The story is somewhat convoluted, a fact that makes it even more revealing of the nature of espionage work at the time. Sergei Gregoriev (Emir Kusturica) passes secret documents to French spy Pierre Froment (Guillaume Canet) living in Moscow with his wife (Alexandra Maria Lara), documents so important that Froment must take extraordinary risks to pass them to the US Government. In the US President Reagan (Fred Ward) must balance the importance of these documents with the balance of relationships with the French government under François Mitterrand (Philippe Magnan) it is a tense struggle for power and at the crux of it is Froment and the ultimately captured Gregoriev who is tortured to reveal his French espionage contact. The rush to finish at the end of the film is breathtaking and heartbreaking. There is a conversation between Froment and the US Feeney (Willem Dafoe) that places the soul of the Cold War years in perspective.

Every aspect of this film is involving - the acting is first rate from everyone involved, the pacing is in the fashion edge of the seat direction, and the sharing of the innermost secrets of espionage is information we all should study. A reenactment of the Reagan/Gorbachev era as well defined as any film has dared to show us. Not only is this excellent filmmaking, but it is also information about a man's (Sergei Gregoriev) sacrifice that deserve honor.

Grady Harp


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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