Director Christian Carion
Release date 23 september 2009 (France)
Scenario Eric Raynaud, based on Sergueï Kostine novel « Bonjour Farewell »


  • 2009 : best actor for Emir Kusturica, at “NOIR in Festival” in Courmayeur, Italy


The scenario of the film is based on real events, which happened at the beginning of the 80s, and which have accelerated the fall of the Berlin wall. Emir Kusturica will play the role of a KGB lieutenant-colonel who delivered to French counter-spies crucial information on Soviet spies in western countries, particularly in economical, militaro-industrial and high technology research domains. A treason under the code-name Farewell that the movie will revisit by mixing it with the intervention of a French engineer.



  • Emir Kusturica …. Vladimir Vetrov, the Russian spy
  • Guillaume Canet
  • Willem Dafoe
  • Alexandra-Maria Lara
  • Niels Arestrup
  • David Soul
  • Philippe Magnan …. François Mitterrand
  • Fred Ward …. Ronald Reagan


CountryFormat audio languages subtitles Buy online Description
France DVD Z2 PAL VO DTS 5.1, 2.0françaisAmazon.frReleased on 03/03/10
Making-of, documentary on the affair
France Blu-Ray R2 VO DTS 5.1, 2.0françaisAmazon.frReleased on 03/03/10
Making-of, documentary on the affair


The role that Emir Kusturica plays should have been initially done by his friend Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov, but he cancelled for calendar reasons.

Emir Kusturica has declared in an interview : ”I play a double-agent who is really tired of life. It's a very interesting story, and I think this will help me in the art of cinema”.

Also, during the shooting, the producer, Christophe Rossignon, said : ”In the skin of the famous KGB spy who offered his services to the west, strange and particularly complex character, incredibly mimetic, Emir Kusturica is just exceptional.

Farewell is the very first film which obtained the authorization to shoot inside the Elysée palace in Paris (where the president of the Republic works and lives). Christian Carion, the director, was convinced: “I explained them that the American films, when they show the Power, do not make fakes. And why wouldn't French films have access to the Elysée, when the Americans shoot in Versailles or the Louvre ? In the end, French ministry of Culture supported us.

In the party hall of the Elysée, the actor Philippe Magnan made a François Mitterrand truer than nature. So much so that all the staff of the Elysée went to “see once again Mitterrand”…

Christian Carion, in his preoccupations with exactitude, wanted also to shoot in Moscow. But, when the scenario arrived in the hands of the French translator of Vladimir Poutine, he got nervous. The Russian ambassador in France, Avdeïev made all he could to block the project. And not without reasons ! In fact, Avdeïev belonged to the 47 Russian diplomats expelled by Mitterrand. Indeed, in January 1983, France discovered that all the messages exchanged since 1977 between the French embassy in Moscow and France were intercepted by the Russians, who had installed a derivation on the teleprinter. Furious, Mitterrand required the list of the members of the KGB and the GRU, the operative Soviet military information in France. This list could be obtained thanks to Farewell…

So, Carion decided to go to Kiev, in Ukraine. He will add real sights of Moscow in background in post-production. Aesthetically, the capital of Ukraine looks in many points like Moscow. The subway, for example, is as beautiful as there. The authorizations were not long to receive, and even more quickly, since any occasion to make Moscow nervous remotely are rather welcome there… But by prudence, at the Regency Hyatt in Kiev, Guillaume Canet and Emir Kusturica checked in under false names : Marc Lanvin and Pierre Legrand…

Emir Kusturica had to act in Russian (a language that he knows well, for having learned it at school under the Communist regime of Tito) and in French. Even if he speaks relatively good French, he nevertheless had to work his text phonetically, and also to be helped by posters held by an assistant…

The shock of the revelations provided by Farewell led USSR to its decline and led also to the fall of the Berlin Wall. On this subject, Emir Kusturica declares: ”I am not the ideal person to appreciate the fall of the Wall. The reunification of Germany caused the dismantling of my country, Yugoslavia, which I always miss, why deny it. There were some bad parts in Communism, but there were also good ones. What I like in the vision of Christian Carion of these events, it is their human dimension. Farewell is a Communist in the noble sense, like my father was, who, like him, would not have supported that his youth ideals be perverted.




en/farewell.txt · Last modified: 2012/12/06 21:42 by matthieu1