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L'affaire Farewell (2009)

2:21 | Trailer
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.


Christian Carion



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Stars: Tomasz Bialkowski, Mikhail Gorbachev, François Mitterrand


Cast overview, first billed only:
Guillaume Canet ... Pierre
Emir Kusturica ... Grigoriev
Alexandra Maria Lara ... Jessica
Ingeborga Dapkunaite ... Natasha
Philippe Magnan Philippe Magnan ... Mitterrand
Aleksey Gorbunov ... Choukhov (as Oleksii Gorbunov)
Dina Korzun ... Alina
Niels Arestrup ... Vallier
David Soul ... Hutton
Fred Ward ... Reagan
Willem Dafoe ... Feeney
Marc Berman Marc Berman ... Jacques
Christian Carion Christian Carion ... Favier
Evgeniy Kharlanov Evgeniy Kharlanov ... Igor (as Yevgeni Kharlanov)
Lauriane Riquet Lauriane Riquet ... Ophelie


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 (14) »


Secrets have the power to change the course of history. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site | Production Notes




French | English | Russian

Release Date:

23 September 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Farewell See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »


Box Office


€17,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS


Color | Black and White (archive footage)| Color (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At least three actual film directors have acting roles in this picture: Christian Carion, Guillaume Canet, and Emir Kusturica. See more »


In a scene identified as taking place in April 1981, Grigoriev's son listens to the Queen/David Bowie song "Under Pressure." The song was not recorded until July 1981, released in October 1981. See more »


Featured in En bonne intelligence (2010) See more »


Run Like Hell
Performed by Pink Floyd
See more »

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User Reviews

18 November 2010 | by cultfilmfanSee all my reviews

Farewell is a French film in French, English and Russian, but with English subtitles. The film is based on the book Bonjour Farewell by Serguei Kostine. The film takes place in the early 1980's and is about a Russian internal security officer named Sergei, who is fed up with the current communist government and decides to take Soviet documents and secret information to the government of France, under President Mitterrand, who himself is a socialist, but is working in coalition with the communists. Sergei hopes that by doing this he could bring about a change in the Soviet Union. Sergei realizes that he can not do it alone, so he gets the help of a French engineer named Pierre Froment, who is based out of Moscow, to help him with his mission. During the film both men will come under suspicion of family members and those around them and at times they even doubt each other, but Sergei is bound and determined to succeed with his mission. Before, I saw Farewell, I knew very little about it, but had seen and read some of the great reviews it had been receiving. It took me a little while to sort of get caught up with the characters and all the events that were going on during the film, but in the end I found myself loving the film. I am glad that I decided to go see Farewell, instead of skipping it altogether. I think the fact that it was about espionage worried me, because I really am not a fan of the usual James Bond type espionage and spy films. Farewell thankfully turned out to be something different. Instead of a lot of action, car chases and the usual high tech gimmicks and story lines that are pumped out in the American versions of these type of films (and I guess the British, seeing as they created James Bond), we are instead taken down a different route, where we are introduced to these two men and we really get to know the two of them well during the length of the film and we even start to care about them. We see them go about their daily lives with things going on at home and raising families, but these two also are passionate people and they are doing what they are doing for what they consider to be the best thing for them and their country and families. This film took a more personal approach by letting us get to know these two men and giving us good character development and sets a good pace for the film and also helps us to understand why they are doing what they are doing and the end results and choices they end up making. The dialogue between the characters is all very good here and the acting from the two leads and basically the whole cast is terrific. The film once you get to know what is going on, moves at a good pace and at times is thrilling and at other times we are in deep fascination to see what will happen in the character's personal lives as well as what will happen with the mission they are working on. As, I said we really do get to know these characters well with their heroic qualities and even their flaws and we still admire them both and get to care for them. Some of the best scenes of the film have nothing to do with the espionage mission at all, but instead seeing how they interact with their families and how they go about their daily lives. It may not be action packed, but it feels realistic and human and more believable this way. Farewell is a really captivating film with it's story which is brought to great justice by a great script, direction and performances. I also appreciated seeing a European view on the events and matters that take place during the film instead of a typical and perhaps biased American version. I could respect and see what they were trying to get across in this version of the story and I am glad they did not change anything to be more commercial, or to sell more tickets. Farewell is a terrific film and definitely one of the best of 2010.

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