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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
What stands out for me most about the movie is the pregnant sense of possibility that Tarkovsky infuses into even the most ordinary scenes. The glacial, almost imperceptible movements of the camera, the wind riffling through grass or shawls or curtains, the haunting vibration of glasses--all insinuate the presence, or maybe just the barest possibility, of something like God. Part of the movie's point seems to be to make you feel the sterility of life without that presence; an 'eternal recurrence' like Otto mentions at the beginning, in which the sense that our routine lives are a waiting for something higher never lifts. Tarkovsky's gift as a director is to communicate visually that this waiting might have a purpose after all.Read more ›
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 on April 30 2014 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
I love Tarkovsky and looked forward to viewing "The Sacrifice" after having seen Andrei Rublev, Solaris, The Mirror, and The Violin and the Steamroller. Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by dm
'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
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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