The Sacrifice

  • 1986
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Drama

The final film from one of Russia's greatest filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovsky, was also his first to receive any widespread recognition in the US. Like all of Tarkovsky's work, it tackles complex themes and concerns that most directors would never approach. THE SACRIFICE is about a number of things, none obvious and none remaining wholly consistent from one...read more

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The final film from one of Russia's greatest filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovsky, was also his first to receive any widespread recognition in the US. Like all of Tarkovsky's work, it tackles complex themes and concerns that most directors would never approach. THE SACRIFICE is about a number of

things, none obvious and none remaining wholly consistent from one viewing to the next; it is a poetic vision, filled with the symbolism peculiar to Tarkovsky's imagination. It is also a visually stunning, hauntingly beautiful, brilliant piece of art. THE SACRIFICE opens as Alexander (Erland

Josephson) and his six-year-old son are busily planting a tree along the sandy, barren shore of the small island where the family is vacationing. During this vacation, it is announced on the radio that WWIII has begun--and the complete destruction of Europe by nuclear arms is certain. Later, when

Alexander is alone, he gets down on his hands and knees to ask forgiveness from his creator, begging for the terrible events that are transpiring to be undone. He promises to do anything--give up all his possessions, even part with his son--if only things will be returned to normal. More than a

beautiful film, THE SACRIFICE is a hopeful message to future generations to live in harmony with nature and with one another (which only gains in power by virtue of its dedication to the filmmaker's son). By December 29, 1986, less than a year after this movie was completed, Tarkovsky would fall

victim to the cancer that he already knew would kill him. Aware that this would probably be his last film, Tarkovsky makes a conscious plea that we consider the damage done to the planet before it's too late, and seems to be saying that for all the modern world's astounding scientific progress,

there is nothing to compensate for the loss of our spiritual essence--creating a dangerous gap between human consciousness and the natural world. While perhaps not the most typical of Tarkovsky's works (the Swedish cast, Sven Nykvist's photography, and the Faro location occasionally lend it a

Bergmanesque quality), THE SACRIFICE is a brilliant picture that should not be missed.

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  • Released: 1986
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: The final film from one of Russia's greatest filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovsky, was also his first to receive any widespread recognition in the US. Like all of Tarkovsky's work, it tackles complex themes and concerns that most directors would never approach. TH… (more)

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