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Farewell [DVD]

Guillaume Canet , Emir Kusturica , Christian Carion    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 4.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Guillaume Canet, Emir Kusturica, Willem Dafoe, David Soul, Fred Ward
  • Directors: Christian Carion
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French, Russian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004NYAYO6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,034 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Based on a true story, Farewell (aka L’Affaire Farewell) documents one of the most astounding tales of espionage to come out of the Cold War. Directed by Academy Award nominated Christian Carion (Merry Christmas), Farewell features a stellar cast including award-winning actor/director Emir Kusturica (Black Cat, White Cat, The Good Thief), award-winning actor/director Guillaume Canet (Tell No One, Little White Lies) and award-winning actress Alexandra Maria Lara (The Reader, Control). The film also stars Willem Dafoe (Antichrist, Spiderman 3), David Soul (Jerry Springer: The Opera) and Fred Ward (Short Cuts, Management).

In 1981 Colonel Grigoriev (Emir Kusturica) of the KGB (real name Vladimir Vetrov), disenchanted with what the communist ideal has become under Brezhnev, decides he is going to change the world. Discreetly, he makes contact with a French engineer working for Thompson in Moscow, Pierre, (Guillaume Canet) and little by little passes on documents to him – mainly concerning the United States – information which would constitute the most important Cold War espionage operation known to date. During a period of two years, French President Francois Mitterrand (Philippe Magnan) was to personally vet the documents supplied by this source in Moscow, to whom the French Secret Service gave the codename ‘Farewell’.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
`Farewell' comes close to being a perfect Cold War spy story. It shares some of the themes of `Lives of Others' The Lives of Others [DVD] but is told with a wry, ironic sense of humour which elevates the atmosphere above the typically bleak and bitter outlook of life behind the collapsing Iron Curtain.
It's a French film set in Moscow, which works far better than you might think, which examines how the action of a KGB officer might have led to Gorbachev's eventual path of glasnost and perestroika. The action follows an unwilling French engineer who ends up carrying secrets across borders while lying to his family about his actions. The KGB Colonel tells lies to everyone automatically, and watches as his family life unravels in parallel with the collapse of the socialist ideals he still believes in.
The performances are superb; Willem Dafoe plays a small role perfectly as the Teflon-edged CIA chief, but the two males leads - French and Soviet - steal the show completely. The wildly unlikely relationship between a spy and his handler is beautifully portrayed: they can't be honest with their families or lovers, so they only have faith in each other. They throw tradecraft to the wind and take ridiculous risks, almost daring fate to stop them - the KGB Colonel is particularly distraught about what damage his actions must bring yet he knows them to be honourable, and at no time does he betray his ideals... only his government. Even as events spiral out of their control, the relationship between these two men deepens immensely, until the Russian knows (secondhand) the intimate secrets of his friend's marriage.
On top of all that, `Farewell' also examines the nature of the father-son relationship, and manages a nail-chewingly tense finale. The plot machinations are pure genius, more than worth of Le Carre at his peak.
One of the very best foreign language films of the year.
9/10
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There Can be no Change Without sacrifice" 31 Oct 2011
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a French thriller based on the true story that helped bring an end to the `Cold War' and the dawning of `Perestroika'. It stars Emir Kusturika (Serbian film maker and actor responsible for, amongst others `Black Cat White Cat'Black Cat, White Cat [1998] [DVD] ). He plays Colonel Segei Gregoriev, who in 1981 had become totally disenchanted with the whole Soviet system. He was in a privileged position regarding intelligence, and so decides to change the future by giving vital information to the French.

He chose the French as he speaks the language having spent time there and falling in love with all things French, also the CIA are too closely monitored by the KGB to go unnoticed. As his contact he is sent a lowly cog in the big wheel of espionage, one Pierre Froment (Guillaume Canet), who he initially rejects as an amateur, but realising all other contacts are known to Russian intelligence, he carries on and they soon form a bond.

The French then start sharing intel with the Americans and things start to move forward although with a fair amount of mistrust between Mitterrand and Reagan (Fred Ward). Reagan has David Soul as one of his aides and Willem Dafoe also plays a small part as a top CIA bad guy. That said there is not a single poor performance here everyone does a fantastic job. The camera shots are great and the attention to period detail is brilliant too especially all the old Russian cars. Froment is told early on that the KGB have everything bugged including all the bedrooms, and if you are not `getting some' then they will know and send someone after you - the moral is `if you want peace, then screw your wife'.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent French Thriller 29 April 2011
By Wil Andersen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Why is it the French are so good at these thrillers? I went to see this at the cinema simply because of one good review in my newspaper. My wife and I were enthralled. This is a really good, gripping film - claimed to be based on fact - I don't know and really don't care - it seemed wholly realistic to me.

Don't want to spoil it for viewers by revealing any of the plot but just to say it deals with that time when the old soviet union was falling apart and Gorbachov was waiting in the wings (remarkable portrayal of him briefly in the film). And the CIA was spying and the Russians were spying - and there is one man who wants to reveal what is going on. Totally gripping, totally convincing.

It is well photographed, the tension is ratcheted up throughout; the acting is without exception great; the story seems to hold together; and you start breathing again as you leave the cinema.

OK a couple of things aren't quite right but they are very minor on the context of the whole. I went with my wife and we had planned to go home and work but we ended up crossing the road to a bar and having a glass of wine (French of course) to unwind and to discuss the film. Go see it or buy the DVD when it comes out - you won't regret it.

And to the first reviewer - well, I watched it and I don't know who David Soul played in the film. Maybe he has got old, bald and fat? (Edited to add: well there was a review that complained he couldn't see David Soul in the film - but the reviewer obviously had the good sense to remove it since at the time of writing the only other review shares my high opinion of the film)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars FAREWELL directed by Christian Carion
Appalled by the state of the USSR, a KGB officer decides to leak secrets to the French in an effort to shake up the system -- but the only Frenchman in Russia not being watched by... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Yohji
3.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected
The plot was mostly predictable and the acting seemed wooden I think aided by the pedestrian script and the direction felt very wooden
Published 3 months ago by t j ball
4.0 out of 5 stars A movie to be watched again
We saw this movie at the theatre a while ago.
I remember enjoying it very much and thinking I need to see it again. Read more
Published 11 months ago by R. Warren
3.0 out of 5 stars Its O.K.
The story line and acting is just average. The plot though true it still does not cut it for me. gave it to charity shop to sell.
Published 13 months ago by Vivek K. Sarawgi
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb spy story shows how human actions resonate on a global scale
'Farewell' comes close to being a perfect Cold War spy story.
It shares some of the themes of 'Lives of Others' The Lives of Others [DVD] but is told with a wry, ironic sense... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Rowena Hoseason
4.0 out of 5 stars inside the USSR
Inside the Russian intelligence world and its spies, you wonder why a French one could mess with them ... and from their viewpoint, the Americans, the French intelligence world. Read more
Published 16 months ago by W. Chung
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not fulfilling...
I adore love Cold War thrillers. The idea of a French view on the era - especially one based on a true story was enticing. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Linds
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb spy story. How tiny actions resonate across the globe
`Farewell' comes close to being a perfect Cold War spy story. It shares some of the themes of `Lives of Others' The Lives of Others [DVD] but is told with a wry, ironic sense of... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rowena Hoseason
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 21 months ago by C. O. DeRiemer
5.0 out of 5 stars Spying Tonight
It seems odd that France and Russia would spy on one another, I thought it was something only we Brits and the Americans do. Read more
Published on 23 May 2012 by Roger Vincent
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