Available on DVD and BluRay



France 2009 | Run time: 112 min.

Director: Christian Carion | Language: French - English - Russian


The Black Balloon Poster

In 1981, Colonel Grigoriev 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 Thomson in Moscow and little by little passes on documents to him - mainly concerning the United States - containing information which would constitute the most important Cold War espionage operation known to date.


During a period of two years, French President, François Mitterrand, was to personally vet the documents supplied by this source in Moscow, to whom the French Secret Service gave the codename « Farewell ».


Then master of the White House, Ronald Reagan, set aside his reluctance to work with a French Socialist to put this unhoped-for information from the very heart of the KGB to use. Farewell would in fact decapitate the network which enabled the KGB to gain in-depth knowledge of scientific, industrial and military research in the West.


Once the USSR had been deprived of these precious sources of information, Ronald Reagan’s announcement of the new « Star Wars » military programme sounded the death bell of the Soviet Union. The Berlin Wall would fall before the end of the 80s…


In his own way, Farewell managed to change the world, by avoiding traditional espionage methods too well known to the KGB and by not asking for any financial compensation whatsoever – much too capitalist for his taste. He simply followed his destiny, so that a new world might dawn for all his fellow Russians, but especially for his son.



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Cast & Crew

Director: Christian Carion

Producers: Christophe Rossignon, Bertrand Faivre, PHILIP BOEFFARD


Written by: Eric Raynaud



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Farewell Poster (Large)
Farewell Press Kit

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Reviews and Quotes


Charlotte Observer (Lawrence Toppman review 3 ½ out of 4 stars)


St. Louis Dispatch (Joe Williams review 3 out of 4 stars)


Denver Post (Roger Ebert review – 3 ½ stars)


Philadelphia Inquirer  (3 ½ out of 4 stars)

By Steven Rea - Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic  


The Austin Chronicle (3 out of 4 stars)

  Marjorie Baumgarten [2010-08-20]


"If there is an award for the best looking spy film ever made, Christian Carion's Farewell is a front runner"


Farewell: How the French Won the Cold War And A Russian Saved A Frenchman
D Magazine
By Peter Simek August 19th, 2010 2:57pm




NY Times Article 07/11/2010 - In the July Heat, a Cold-War Comeback - By JOHN ANDERSON


BackStage - The Actors Resource - FAREWELL

Reviewed by Pete Hammond - Read


Christian Carion live interview 07/06/2010 on WNYC Radio (NYC NPR). CLICK to Listen




Los Angeles
“An extraordinary but little-known episode in international espionage.” -Todd McCarthy, Variety


“Astonishing…like any good thriller, this is the story of deceptions within deceptions. It’s juicy, fascinating stuff.” -Todd McCarthy, Variety


"A harrowing, richly human and well-acted espionage tale." -Todd McCarthy, Variety


"It's juicy, fascinating stuff, well orchestrated, and finely thesped. Carion keeps things simmering on medium-high heat throughout.” -Todd McCarthy, Variety


New York



“A fantastic true story.”

-Stephen Holden, The New York Times


“A compelling rendition of Cold War iconography.”
-Robert Levin, AM NY


“Filled with the twists, turns and grand scale of epics like “Reds”…”  (optional: “…the sort Hollywood rarely makes anymore”) -Robert Levin, AM NY


Washigton DC

“Now that's a spy movie.”
-Jeff Stein, The Washington Post



“Harrowing! A richly human and well-acted espionage tale.” -Lisa Nesselson, Screen Daily


“A complex performance from Emir Kusturica…Willem Dafoe is sharp as the head of the CIA.”
-Lisa Nesselson, Screen Daily


“The tense script is riddled with little paranoid touches which ratchet up the suspense.”
-Lisa Nesselson, Screen Daily


“A Gallic John Le Carré”

-John Lichfield, The Independent


“A story of anguished heroism” -John Lichfield, The Independent


"Deftly replicates not only the political and social climate of the cold war era, but also the filmmaking sensibilities of past espionage thrillers.”
-Robert Bell, The Trades (www.the-trades.com)


“Fans of old school thrillers should look no further.”
-Robert Bell, The Trades (www.the-trades.com)


“One of the best political thrillers in years.”
-Greg Klymkiv, Daily Film Dose (www.dailyfilmdose.com)


“Utterly compelling…Thrills with both subject matter and impeccable craft.” -Greg Klymkiv, Daily Film Dose (www.dailyfilmdose.com


“Emir Kusturica is a revelation… Ward is perfect.”
-Greg Klymkiv, Daily Film Dose (www.dailyfilmdose.com)


“Emir Kusturica  proves to be a formidable and charismatic presence.” -Noel Megahey, The Digital Fix (www.cinema.thedigitalfix.co.uk)


“Like every epic undertaking worth its salt, it balances the political with the personal.” -Anne Billson,  The Arts Desk (www.theartsdesk.com)


“Farewell is destined to be this year's The Lives of Others.” -Anne Billson,  The Arts Desk (www.theartsdesk.com)


“Carion keeps us riveted right to the very end.”
-James McNally, Toronto Screen Shots (www.torontoscreenshots.com)


“This smart and well-acted film deserves a wide audience.” -James McNally, Toronto Screen Shots (www.torontoscreenshots.com)


“A fascinating piece of true-life Cold War espionage…” -Andrew O’Hehir,(www.Salon.com)




Reuters – story/interview with Christian Carion


France Amerique – Interview with Christian Carion


ReelRave.com – Stephen Schaefer interview with Christian Carion


Elle Magazine – Karen Durbin - Read


New York Times – Stephen Holden - Read


New York Daily News – Joe Neumaier - Read


New York Post – Vincent Musetto - Read


Epoch Times - Joe Bendel - Read


Time Out New York - Keith Uhlich - Read


New York Magazine – Miranda Siegel - Read


Wall Street Journal – John Anderson - Read


The New Yorker – David Denby - Read


Village Voice – Nick Pinkerton - Read


The Huffington Post – Marshall Fine - Read


NYC Movie Guru – Avi Offer - Read