French Connection: K.G.B. Colonel Plotting to Break the Isolation.

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    • Abstract:
      Based on true, surprisingly little-known events that hastened the downfall of the Soviet Union, Christian Carion's espionage drama, ''Farewell (L'Affaire Farewell),'' is a refreshing reminder in the age of the Bourne movies that spies are real people leading everyday lives. (We'll know more about that when a movie is made about the 10 Russian agents sent home this month by the United States.) The film's principal characters are portrayed by two leading European filmmakers: the Serbian director Emir Kusturica (''Underground'') plays the K.G.B. colonel Sergei Grigoriev, and the French director Guillaume Canet (''Tell No One'') is his French connection, Pierre Froment. Sergei is based on the real-life Vladimir Vetrov, whose code name, given to him by the French intelligence service, was ''Farewell.'' The movie's staking out of a (sometimes shaky) middle ground between serious comedy and high-tech fantasy is a considerable accomplishment that deglamorizes spying as an occupation by making it look a little silly. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
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