Christian Carion

Eric Raynaud. Adapted from Sergey Kostine’s Bonjour Farewell.

Grigoriev: Emir Kusturica
Pierre: Guillaume Canet
Jessica: Alexandra Maria Lara
Feeney: Willem Dafoe


NeoClassics Films

PRODUCTION: France, 2009
RATING: Not Rated
GAUGE: 35mm, Blu-ray, DVD

“…an ideal corrective to the usual overblown espionage fantasies, and one that works very well on its own stealthy terms. The fact-based ‘Farewell’ (‘L'Affaire Farewell’) from French director Christian Carion boasts the considerable virtue of seeming to take place in the real world, among genuine (if duplicitous) practitioners of the surveillance and secrets game in the late-Cold War era of the early 1980s.”
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Christian Carion’s nail-biting espionage drama is based on little-known true events from the early 1980s that helped bring down the Soviet Union. In a neat bit of casting, the two leads of Farewell are played by prominent European filmmakers. Emir Kusturica (the Serbian director of 1995’s Underground) is Sergei Grigoriev, a KGB colonel who has become completely disillusioned with Communism under Brezhnev; he leaks highly classified documents to a French spy, Pierre (Guillaume Canet, an actordirector best known for helming 2006’s Tell No One). This top-secret information makes it way to the head of French intelligence, the CIA, and President Reagan. Beyond the Cold War international intrigue, Farewell is also a compelling study of the domestic lives of secret agents. Sergei, based on the real-life Vladimir Vetrov, constantly clashes with his teenage son, Igor, who’s obsessed with Queen and the music of other forbidden “decadent” Western pop artists. Igor has no clue that his father hates Brezhnev as much as he does—or that Sergei is undertaking his traitorous activities in the hopes that his son will have a better life.






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