The Sacrifice



IMDb Rating 8.1 10 18680


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by RobertF87 10 / 10

Tarkovsky's Final Masterpiece

Andrei Tarkovsky was without a doubt one of the genuine artist working in the cinema. With films such as "Andrei Rublev", "Solaris", "Mirror", Stalker" and "Nostalghia", Tarkovsky enriched the world with powerful works for art. "Sacrifice" was his final film, made while Tarkovsky was dying of cancer. The story concerns an elderly academic who lives with his family in a rural part of Sweden. When he learns that about an imminent nuclear war, he makes a desperate pact with God. The film is astonishingly beautiful, like all Tarkovsky's films. Images of nature, water and fire feature prominently, as does the shifting from colour images to black and white.

It is important to remember that Tarkovsky is not a very accessible film-maker, and his films make great demands on viewer's patience and attention, but if you are willing to make the effort you will be rewarded by an unforgettable experience.

Reviewed by maeva 10 / 10


SPOILER: This is the best movie I have seen so far. I watch it again about once or twice a year, like a ritual or an annual holiday I would be taking into levels of consciousness where the mind is not really required. I do not understand, and I do not feel like I have to, it is secondary. I feel touched like only pure and silent beauty can touch me, or bliss. It is obviously created around an idea of sacrifice, being both a gift to others but also to ourselves. By offering his life in order to save his family, his grandson and the world, the main character is also giving a true meaning to his own life that had mostly been of artificiality, questionings and shallowness. Every person who enters the house, he starts seeing under a deeper if not more expressionistic light... And when he meets with magic (while making love with the witch) he creates the bridge that will take him from reality into mystery. The whole film is as breathtaking and self-sufficient as a painting, or even more so, a Russian icon. It is ageless. I suppose it will remain with me for my entire life. I consider it Tarkovsky's last will, but even more so a piece of the Human Heritage that should be protected and kept accessible for future generation.

Reviewed by Joseph Sylvers 9 / 10

Andrei Tarkovsky Does Ingmar Bergman, Philip K. Dick Style?

Andrie Tarkaovsky's final film takes elements from Ingmar Bergman, "I Am Cuba" with a story that if not influenced by, is a kind of psychic cousin to the later works of Philip K. Dick.

A family on a small Swedish island, find out the world is about to end(there's nowhere to hid and nothing that can be done)...planes heard overhead, and television warnings are all anyone knows. So far this doesn't sound too different from Bergamn's "Shame" where a couple try to escape from the world and war, on a similar small Swedish Island. The difference is where Bergman, dissects his characters down to nothingness, Tarkovsky includes mysterious post-men obsessed with miracles, a maid who may be a powerful witch, a man with the chance to re-create the universe, and a love making scene in mid-air?

That Tarkovsky moves with such subtly between psychological study, religious allegory, and science fiction tropes, should'nt be too much of a surprise considering his early philosophical SF films like "Solaris", and "Stalker"(which I may re-watch, cus of this film, though I hated it before). Like Philip K. Dick, end of the world paranoia, reality manipulation, and the religious (specifically Christian) ecstatic vision all merge together in 'The Sacrifice", with a lot more force and clarity(at least for me) than in any of his earlier films.

The lead character seems like a stand in for Tarkovsky himself, his views on nature, art, God, progress, and humanity, seem to match pretty closely with some he gives in the interview section of the DVD.

It's still slow as all hell, but the intensity of the story helps balance out the visual pace. It's not as instantly impressive as some of Tarkovsky's other films, but I think this maybe his strongest movie, all around.

It's the story of a man who saved the world, without anyone ever knowing it, and the trade off, man must make with God, in order to survive. A prayer on film.

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