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The Sacrifice: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]

Erland Josephson , Susan Fleetwood , Andrey Tarkovsky    Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Frequently Bought Together

The Sacrifice: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] + Nostalghia [Blu-ray] + The Mirror (with Original Mono Soundtrack) (1974)
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Product Description

Product Description

In The Sacrifice, Alexander's (Erland Josephson) birthday party is interrupted by news that World War III has begun and mankind is hours away from annihilation. To avoid war, Alexander promises to God that he'll sacrifice all he has -- even his son. This new remastered edition of Tarkovsky’s final film features a new, much improved transfer of the film in anamorphic widescreen.


Winner - Best Foreign Language Film -- BAFTA Film Award (1988)

Winner - Grand Prize of the Jury -- Cannes Film Festival (1986)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TARKOVSKY 'LIGHT'...? Sept. 26 2003
...that seems to be the opinion of some reviewers. This film - Tarkovsky's final work - is certainly more accessible than his others, more straightforward in its storytelling...but there's a lot of wonderful elements involved, and it certainly doesn't deserve to be relegated to the 'minor works' category. Other reviewers have also drawn comparisons between this film and the work of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman - there is some of Bergman's 'look' to the film, perhaps because Tarkovsky chose to work with Sven Nykvist, who worked on several of Bergman's films. Even with this 'Bergmanesque' presence, this is definitely Tarkovsky's film - and if it's more accessible than some of his other works, perhaps it's a good place for someone who is unfamiliar with his work to start.
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.
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If you are hooked on films made by former advertising film makers or have an attention span limited to a one minute commercial, read no further. And don't buy this film. But if you yearn for the occasional silence, excepting sounds of nature, the occasional squeak of a cupboard door easing closed, the rustle of wind through leaves, the peculiar crackle of fire, then The Sacrifice may be your film. There is some music as well, but not the sounds of sweeping violins, rather the dramatic and eerie and mournful sound of a Japanese flute. The film is dedicated to the film maker's son "with hope and confidence" yet deals with the end of the world as it is under nuclear attack. Beginning and ending with the young seven year old son of the protaganist planting then watering a lone tree, the film deals with the machinations of a family, its affairs, desires, disappointments and how it reacts to the catastrophic news of nuclear war. The lingering camera movements are to me rivetting as are the use of mirrors. It is a meditative thought provoking film which I found immensely moving.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed masterpiece? April 13 2004
By dm
I love Tarkovsky and looked forward to viewing "The Sacrifice" after having seen Andrei Rublev, Solaris, The Mirror, and The Violin and the Steamroller. After first viewing, I found the picture confusing and hard to grasp. But, unlike "The Mirror," on subsequent viewing I realized that the reason that it is confusing and hard to grasp is that Tarkovsky has created a self-indulgent film based upon the amalgam of two different scripts that he had written. I don't think that he himself was clear on what he wanted to say, and I don't think he was concerned if the viewer is clear either. Perhaps this is because he knew this was his final film? Once again, though, the graphic images in the film are stunning, and his use of light, shadow, and reflections is genius.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tarkovsky At - Dare I Say - His Preachiest Dec 31 2003
By 24fps
'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 slightly preachy - work in his oeuvre.
While this film is still a masterwork in many respects, problems arose from the very begining. When Alexander and Toto discuss G-d and philosophy, in the vast landscape, it felt forced and contrived. Also, some preachiness was evident in the scene when Alexander asks G-D to spare the world of it's misery; "forgive those who do not believe in you because they are blind." In anouther scene, Toto tells the family a story about a mother that has her photo taken and upon recieving the prints sees the image of her son, who past away 20 years earlier, in a war. After telling the story Toto vents on how "people see nothing, they are blind." As a viewer I felt slightly insulted and disappointed by these scenes.
Apart from some of Sacrifice's flaws it still contains all we have come to expect from the master. The art works, the long takes, the slow zooms, the spirituality, and philosophical musings.
'The Sacrifice' is probably Tarkovsky's greatest sound design achievement. The intermittent voices audible throughout the film, like beckons from anouther world, and the Japanese flute that would come swooping in so elegantly with the damp winds were perfect.
Admittedly, I have only seen The Sacrifice once. Further viewings, I'm sure, will result in different readings and opinions of the film. Also, I suggest reading his book "Sculpting In Time" it has been of much help to me in understanding his art.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this film
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 more
Published 4 months ago by Cheryl Geeson
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous, deep and mysterious film
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarkovsky's going away present
I can honestly call Andrei Tarkovsky perhaps the greatest director of the 20th century. His films represented the most artistic representation of the cinema, and frankly they are... Read more
Published on July 5 2007 by Rob Larmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
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 more
Published on Aug. 26 2003 by Mr. E. E. Heisler
5.0 out of 5 stars Wait for another transfer!!
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
Published on May 22 2003 by John Q. Rowland
4.0 out of 5 stars The Weight of Wind
No director I can think of ever used film to explore the moods and philosophical quandaries Tarkovsky does. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2003 by Arch Llewellyn
5.0 out of 5 stars For the record...
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 more
Published on Dec 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarkovsky goes Bergmanesque
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 more
Published on Nov. 8 2002 by Timothy Hulsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemplative Beauty Moves The Soul
The Sacrifice is arguably Tarkovsky's magnum opus. The plot provides a perfect spine
for this profoundly beautiful visual contemplation. The cinematography is peerless. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2002
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