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Winner - Best Foreign Language Film -- BAFTA Film Award (1988)
Winner - Grand Prize of the Jury -- Cannes Film Festival (1986) --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Several of Tarkovsky's favorite themes are present in SACRIFICE - alienation, an aching emptiness of the spirit, the slighting of nature by mankind. Erland Josephson portrays Alexander, a wealthy, semi-retired writer who lives with his wife, teenage daughter and 'Little Man', his young son, in a lovely house that sits rather isolated on the seaside in Sweden. His young son is obviously his favorite, the center of his soul and existence. We see him with the little boy, planting a tree, telling him a story about devotion to duty involving a young Japanese monk and his master.
Alexander's birthday is at hand, and his family, along with a couple of friends, makes ready to celebrate. As the group awaits dinner to be served, there is a roaring - like a low-flying jet - in the sky, followed by what appears at first to be a mild earthquake. A ceramic milk pitcher vibrates its way off a shelf, shattering on the floor - news broadcasts on the television indicate that World War III has begun.Read more ›
He made only seven films, seven masterpieces I would be more inclined to say; and each one gave a Christian message of hope amongst a changing time. In all his films he goes to the past, recent past or future. Andrei Rublev deals with keeping faith in the 15th century; while Stalker and Solaris deal with humans need for God in the future. Regardless his films are very serious and somewhat dark, but are affirming of God and the goodness of the world.
Tarkovsky's last film is his only film to take place in the modern day. Its about making a sacrifice as an individual for a greater good. The plot is about an older atheist man who, upon hearing about a coming WWIII prays for the first time in his life. He prays as a last option, and throws himself to God as a sacrifice, that his family and grandson might be spared from this horrific turn for the worst.
I found myself moved by the power of this film; and even though it is his least accessible work, it is also his most personal work. Its not a film like Rublev or Stalker, its much more of a chamber drama, and it really isn't for everybody; but if you give it a fair chance you may find yourself moved by its power. I know I did.
Tarkovsky was going away, and he left The Sacrifice as a gift to the lovers of his work. I am very happy to accept this gift. 9/10.
But what makes the DVD eminently worth purchasing is the documentary "Directed by Tarkovsky" which is added as a bonus feature. The documentary shows the making of "The Sacrifice" (which does shed a little light on what he was trying to say) and it's fascinating to watch Tarkovsky at work. The documentary also includes interviews with him and his musings on life, death, and filmmaking.
Most recent customer reviews
I invited my book club over to watch this wonderful film on Good Friday. Though not overtly religious, it does touch on all the big themes: love, sacrifice, redemption... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Cheryl Geeson
Be prepared for a very slow moving film. It is a meditative experience and one that requires appreciation for ideas more than action, beautiful visuals more than storyline.Published on April 30 2012 by nobody
'The Sacrifice,' Tarkovsky's final film and the second of his non Russian productions, shot by the great Sven Nykvist (Winter Light, Cries And Whispers) is his most direct - and... Read morePublished on Dec 31 2003 by 24fps
I am continually amazed at the huge variation in people's tastes. Someone can give a 1 star rating and the next a 5 star rating for the same film. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2003 by Mr. E. E. Heisler
I gave this 5 stars because the movie is a masterpiece. However, nostalghia.com, a devoted Tarkovsky site, has reported some serious flaws with the transfer:
The transfer of... Read more
No director I can think of ever used film to explore the moods and philosophical quandaries Tarkovsky does. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2003 by Arch Llewellyn
Tarkovsky did NOT know of his illness until late in filming and even that is speculation. I have seen too many reviews stating that he knew of his illness during the filming of... Read morePublished on Dec 22 2002
Expatriate Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky recruits Ingmar Bergman's production crew (including, most notably, his cinematographer) and invades the island of Faro, his old... Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2002 by Timothy Hulsey
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