Moscow, in the early 1980s. An unsuspecting French engineer is supplied with secret documents by a KGB colonel codenamed ‘Farewell’.
The documents reveal the extent to which the KGB has infiltrated security agencies in the west, and are passed on to the top echelons of the French and US governments.
It’s now curious to see a contemporary spy film that takes the last moments of the Cold War as its setting, but the convincing atmosphere of paranoia and tension marks L’Affaire Farewell as a rewardingly old fashioned international thriller rather than any sort of pastiche.
The film director Emir Justurica gives a stand-out performance as Russian KGB agent Farewell, in a terrific cast of American, French and East European actors, for once mostly speaking in their own language, bringing an authenticity to the action which is rare in the genre.