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PRODUCTION France

Kusturica to star in Carion's Farewell

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Kusturica to star in Carion's Farewell

After several cast changes, Bosnian actor-filmmaker Emir Kusturica is set to star alongside Guillaume Canet in Farewell, Christian Carion’s third feature, following The Girl from Paris (2001) and Merry Christmas [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Carion
interview: Christophe Rossignon
film profile
]
(2005 – Focus).

The spy thriller – which starts shooting this week – is also set to star US actor William Dafoe and German-Romanian actress Alexandra-Maria Lara (Downfall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bernd Eichinger
interview: Joachim Fest
interview: Oliver Hirschbiegel
film profile
]
, Youth Without Youth [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

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Kusturica has appeared as an actor in ten or so films, but only once played a lead, in Patrice Leconte’s The Widow of Saint-Pierre (2000). The director also appeared in Giovanni Robbiano’s Hermano (2007), Roberto Andò’s Secret Journey [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2006) and Neil Jordan’s The Good Thief.

Kusturica’s character in Farewell was originally set to be played by Nikita Mikhalkov who pulled out due to other commitments, but also perhaps out of political caution, given the subject matter (the secret services), a burning issue in Russia at the moment.

The film – which is adapted from Sergueï Kostine’s Bonjour Farewell – is co-written by Carion and Eric Raynaud, and is based on real-life events that occurred in the early 1980s and led to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

A KGB lieutenant-colonel provided French counter-intelligence with crucial information about Soviet spying in Western countries, especially in the areas of economics, the military, industry and avant-garde technological research. This betrayal, dubbed the “Farewell Code”, is explored in the film and is linked to the intervention of a French engineer.

Produced by Christophe Rossignon and Philip Boeffard for Nord-Ouest Films, in co-production with Bertrand Faivre for Le Bureau, Farewell has a budget of €18.4m. This includes backing from France 2 Cinéma, Canal +, Ciné Cinéma and the Ile-de-France region, where 45 days of shooting will take place.

Also co-producing, Pathé will release the film domestically and handle international sales.

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(Translated from French)

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