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The Sacrifice (1986)

Cast: Erland Josephson, Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, more...
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrei Tarkovsky
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Studio: Kino
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Scandinavia
Languages: Russian
Subtitles: English
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The Sacrifice (1986)
The Sacrifice, director Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, begins in Bergmanesque fashion on a small, remote island, where friends and family gather for drama critic Alexander's (Erland Josephson) birthday celebration. The revelry is interrupted by a radio announcement: World War III has begun, and Mankind is only hours away from utter annihilation. Each of the guests reacts differently to the news: the most dramatic response is Alexander's, who promises God that he'll give up everything he holds dear--including his beloved 6-year-old son -- if war is averted. Allan Edwall, a local mailman with purported mystical powers, offers to intervene with the Creator on Josephson's behalf. The Sacrifice is so dependent upon its visuals and overall mood that any attempt at a detailed synopsis would be woefully inadequate. The willingness of Tarkovsky's protagonist to forego all his possessions may well have sprung from the cancer-ridden director's awareness that he, too, would soon be giving up everything to face his Maker. The Sacrifice won four awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Grand Prix. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

The Sacrifice (Bonus Disc) (1986)

Featured in this special 2-disc set is Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, a film by Michal Leszczylowski, who was the editor of The Sacrifice. During his collaboration with Tarkovsky, their relationship grew into an enduring friendship. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky is a making-of documentary and an homage in one film, a fluid and captivating work that presents both the brooding and the playful sides of a genius.

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Sacrifice (1986)
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7.78 (68 votes)
The Sacrifice (Bonus Disc) (1986)
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7.00 (1 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

What Do I Know by squad December 23, 2004 - 6:42 PM PST
3 out of 14 members found this review helpful
Maybe I shouldn't be writing my opinion about "The Sacrifice", because I am totally devoid of the sensibilities that make many people delirious over the "genius" of the late (mercifully) director. In other words, I really disliked this movie, as I did "Andrei Rublev" also by Tarkovsky. The latter with its "artistic" depiction of a horse being literally pushed off a castle tower and snapping its leg in two, a real horse, a real tower, a real destroyed horse. Enough said about this pretentious jerk. In the case of "The Sacrifice" it is the viewer who gets pushed off the tower and wishes that someone would end this misery. The film starts slow, proceeds slow, and appropriately ends with the main character being carted off, probably a result of overlong association with Tarkovsky. But what do I know, since of the hundreds of films I have watched there are four all time worst and Tarkovsky directed two of them. However there are a lot of MELANCHOLY (you know who you are) people who may relish this fishy dish. Dive in.

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