The Sacrifice

Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) is generally considered to be the greatest director of post-war Soviet cinema and the last of the European Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) is generally considered to be the greatest director of post-war Soviet cinema and the last of the European art-film generation. Full of deep spiritual and ecological concern and possessing an intensely poetic style, Tarkovsky infuses his vision into his films with uncompromising commitment. His final film, shot in Sweden with the help of Ingmar Bergman and made with the knowledge that he was dying of cancer, poses one last set of questions about morality, spirituality, and life’s meaning. The film follows 24 hours in the lives of seven friends who have gathered on an island for their host’s (Erland Josephson) birthday party. During dinner, the ground shakes and the news is announced that World War III has begun. In elegantly composed shots, we follow the man as he makes the difficult decision to sacrifice himself to God to prevent violence from touching the lives of his family. Both testament and epitaph, The Sacrifice’s mix of magic, madness, memory, and dream provides a fitting summary. Grand Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival.

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Drama