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Farewell (2009)

Willem Dafoe , Guillaume Canet , Christian Carlon  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Willem Dafoe, Guillaume Canet, Fred Ward, Emir Kusturica, Diane Kruger
  • Directors: Christian Carlon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Neoclassics Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004N66Y1G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,694 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Farewell begins in 1981, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. US/Soviet relations are at their lowest point in more than a decade. A French businessman based in Moscow, Pierre Froment, makes an unlikely connection with Grigoriev, a senior KGB officer disenchanted with what the Communist ideal has become under Brezhnev. Grigoriev begins passing him highly sensitive information about the Soviet spy network in the US. Torn between the fear of putting his wife and children in danger and the desire to know more, Froment brings the documents to the French government. Soon, the flow of information reaches the White House and brings the Soviet regime to the tipping point of collapse, forcing the KGB to escalate its search for the leak, and placing the two men and their families in extreme peril.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"Farewell" (L'affaire Farewell) is a Cold War espionage thriller inspired by the real-life case of Vladmir Vetrov, a KGB officer who, in the 1980s, gave the French domestic intelligence agency DST the names of KGB agents in the West who were involved in industrial and technological espionage. While there are obvious similarities in Vetrov's story and that of the characters in the film (e.g. Vetrov passed information through a French engineer of his acquaintance), Vetrov was a good deal more careless, and drunk, than his likeness in the film, which was a fatal flaw. Director Christian Carion adapted the screenplay from Serguei Kostine's nonfiction book "Bonjour Farewell: La verité de la taupe française du KGB."

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.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the saga of a Russian patriot May 18, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The French film -- L'affaire Farewell -- was made based on the Farewell dossier and released in 2009, the English version in 2010. It has received excellent reviews, featuring Guillaume Canet (playing Patrick Ferrant, as "Pierre Fremont") and Emir Kusturica (playing Vladimir Vetrov, as "Gregoriev").

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Originality
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 more
Published 2 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars DOCU-DRAMA OF THE FRENCH SPY RING THAT BROUGHT DOWN THE SOVIET UNION
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 more
Published 5 months ago by Edward M. Roche Esq
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book is Much Better
Watching the movie and comparing it to the book shows how Hollywood continues to take "creative liberties" with history. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hans Dieter Wulf
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film
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 more
Published 12 months ago by Margaret P. Schaller
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, bad disc
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 more
Published 21 months ago by Dr. William M. Krushat
1.0 out of 5 stars Was so looking forward to see this movie!
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.
Published 21 months ago by LeslieC
5.0 out of 5 stars Farewell . Not to be missed
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 more
Published 23 months ago by Rosemary M. Read
4.0 out of 5 stars A complex spy and a worried go-between
This French thriller of international spying and intrigue may make you never agree to pass along messages if you're posted to Moscow. Read more
Published on October 18, 2012 by C. O. DeRiemer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Solid Spy Film
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 more
Published on July 4, 2012 by Jonathan
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars... excellent spy thriller
I was recently browsing at the foreign movie section of my local library, and fell upon this. Took a look at the jacket, and not knowing much more about the movie, I picked it up. Read more
Published on April 29, 2012 by Paul Allaer
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