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In 1981, a French engineer working in Moscow, Pierre Froment (Guillaume Canet), gets deeper into the espionage business than he intended when a favor for the French security agency DST puts him in contact with a high-ranking KGB officer who wants to pass secrets. Col. Sergei Grigoriev (Emir Kusturica) thinks the Soviet Union needs a new revolution and that it will only have one if the supply of pilfered technology from the West is cut off. He intends to expose the network of Soviet spies called Line X. Pierre is uneasy in his role but can't bring himself to quit. French President Mitterand (Phillipe Magnan) receives regular reports on the project, as does US President Ronald Reagan (Fred Ward), who is surprised to learn that the US space and air defense programs were an open book.
Most of "Farewell" takes place in Moscow in the early to mid-1980s. The period detail is interesting in itself. It's a character drama with tension but without suspense until the final act. Pierre Froment is an anxious man, Grigoriev a disillusioned dreamer.Read more ›
The disintegration of the USSR is inextricably entwined with the life of the courageous Russian who is the subject of this film -- a man with tenacious clarity of purpose and the steely determination to carry on through and accomplish his goal at any price. We are speaking of KGB officer and Russian patriot, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Ippolitovich Vetrov (1932-1985; code name Farewell).
Vetrov crossed over to the West as a defector-in-place and spied against the KGB and his former Soviet comrades. Why? Because he was sickened by the nepotism of the apparatchiks, the abuses, corruption, and injustice plaguing the KGB specifically, and the lack of individual freedom, hypocrisy of the nomenklatura, inequalities and abuses sustained by the citizens in the entire Soviet system where family connections were more important than merit and hard work. What was his goal? To break the machinery of repression of the corrupt KGB and bring down the Soviet system, even if this task would ultimately lead to his personal destruction and death.
During his active espionage career that lasted less than a year (from March 1981 to January 1982) but was longer than that of most agents operating in a communist police state, Vladimir (Volodia) Vetrov identified and neutralized 422 KGB officers and 54 Western agents (Soviet moles) working for the KGB and the USSR bloc.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Finally, a spy drama without gratuitous explosion and combat! Instead of the "ass-kicking" so typical of Bond-like films, this masterpiece relies on poignant dialogue to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Alex
The "Farewell Dossier" was a French DST espionage operation in the Soviet Union. It uncovered with 250 specific names and locations a gigantic Soviet industrial espionage... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Edward M. Roche Esq
Watching the movie and comparing it to the book shows how Hollywood continues to take "creative liberties" with history. Read morePublished on November 9, 2013 by Hans Dieter Wulf
This film, based on true historical data, was engaging from start to finish. The acting is superb, the approach to Cold War themes is subtle but not too obscure, and the overall... Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by Margaret P. Schaller
I like the movie. Different perspective on the cold war and covers a little known subject. However, the disc wouldn't play on my Bru Ray machine. Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by Dr. William M. Krushat
But the disk was in poor condition and kept stopping. I tried to clean it and that didn't work! :(
Will have to buy an new dvd when i am in a real store.
An engrossing tale in the best traditions of John Le Carre, Graham Greene and others. The viewer is drawn into the action by the atmosphere, photography and perfect acting. Read morePublished on November 22, 2012 by Rosemary M. Read
This French thriller of international spying and intrigue may make you never agree to pass along messages if you're posted to Moscow. Read morePublished on October 18, 2012 by C. O. DeRiemer
Farwell is a great spy film. It packs in some drama, some thrills, and is mostly entertaining. It's not an action film so don't go into this expecting a James Bond flick, you may... Read morePublished on July 4, 2012 by Jonathan
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