The Sacrafice

The Sacrifice

classified 12A S

Sculpting Time - Andrei Tarkovsky


Please note: This was screened in Aug 2016

Andrei Tarkovsky
Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall
149 mins, Subtitled, 1986, Sweden

"I wanted to show that man can restore his links with life by renewing his covenant with the source of his soul." – Andrei Tarkovsky

Set in the final hours before a nuclear war threatens to wipe out humanity, Tarkovsky’s visionary final film, was a visually breathtaking meditation on existential terror and a melancholic swansong from one of cinema’s true auteurs.

Alexander, a retired actor, is celebrating his birthday with family and friends when a crackly TV announcement warns of an imminent nuclear catastrophe. As things threaten to descend into fear and turmoil, Alexander makes a promise to God that he will sacrifice all that he holds dear, if the disaster can be averted. As the next day dawns and, as if in a dream, everything is restored to normality, Alexander must now keep his vow.

By the time Tarkovsky started work on his final film, he knew he was seriously ill with cancer. Among many other awards, it won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 1986, but Tarkovsky was too ill to attend. When he died 9 months later in Paris, The Sacrifice completed one of the finest oeuvres in cinema history and cemented his place as one of the most visionary, celebrated and influential filmmakers of all time.