Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(L'affaire Farewell, France, 2009)

In the age of Reagan, Mitterand, and just before Gorbachev, a Russian in the KGB is fed up with the Soviet Union and hopes to force a change by passing some very high-level data to the French. As his go-between he picks a French engineer in Moscow with no ties to any spy agency, and thus without a KGB dossier. It is “based on fact,” as they say, and this time they may not have jazzed it up too much. There aren’t any scenes of James Bond flamboyance; this is more how real spies work, with clandestine meetings, dead drops, and lots and lots of fear and paranoia. The tension mounts nicely, and there are good performances by all concerned, including Fred Ward as Reagan, who really looks very little like him but manages to seem to look like him, if that makes any sense.