"L'affaire Farewell" (English captions) was a huge hit at the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival. The whole point of this Spy-vs.-Spy story, based on actual events, is the hope that somehow, some way, one person can change history.

We become acquainted with a French engineer, a young bookish-looking fellow, living in Moscow with his wife and two small children. He is asked to meet someone and pick up "a package." His contact is a Russian man who looks like a genial unmade bed, rumpled and weary. When he takes the package home, he and his wife decide to sneak a peek before he delivers it to Paris. They are shocked to see highly secure data from the United States, e.g., codes to get into the White House, schematics of Air Force One, etc., etc.

Little by little, our Frenchman, Pierre Canet, develops an understanding and an affection for the Russian, Colonel Grigoriev Kusturica of the KGB, who has become disenchanted with Russia under Communism. He no longer trusts the KGB, which is why he has chosen as his contact someone who is above suspicion: a French engineer. Kusturica will do anything to leave a better Russia for his son.

The information bypasses standard CIA/KGB channels and goes directly from the French Secret Service to French President Francois Mitterand and from there to US President Ronald Reagan, who is understandably skeptical. Eventually, the operation is given the codename "Farewell."

As we come to know both of our principals, we relate to their issues and share their aspirations. The Frenchman brings hard-to-find items back from Paris, e.g., a Sony Walkman for Kusturica's son, because the Russian refuses any monetary compensation, as that would be too capitalistic.

The final twenty minutes of this film are intense, emotional, and ironic. Do NOT leave early!