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.
Language:Swedish / English
Subtitles:English – .srt