THE SACRIFICE (1986) B/W & C widescreen 145m dir: Andrei Tarkovsky
w/Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Valerie Mairesse, Allan Edwall, Gudrun Gisladottir, Sven Wollter, Filippa Franzen, Tommy Kjellqvist
THE SACRIFICE is about a man's private spiritual quest in the face of nuclear Armageddon and the bargain he strikes with God.
From The Movie Guide: "The final film from one of Russia's greatest filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovsky, was also his first to receive any widespread recognition in the U.S. Like all of Tarkovsky's work, it tackles complex themes and concerns that most directors would never approach. THE SACRIFICE is about a number of things, none obvious and none remaining wholly consistent from one viewing to the next; it is a poetic vision, filled with the symbolism peculiar to Tarkovsky's imagination. It is also a visually stunning, hauntingly beautiful, brilliant piece of art. ... More than a beautiful film, THE SACRIFICE is a hopeful message to future generations to live in harmony with nature and with one another (which only gains in power by virtue of its dedication to the filmmaker's son). By December 29, 1986, less than a year after this movie was completed, Tarkovsky would fall victim to the cancer that he already knew would kill him. Aware that this would probably be his last film, Tarkovsky makes a conscious plea that we consider the damage done to the planet before it's too late, and seems to be saying that for all the modern world's astounding scientific progress, there is nothing to compensate for the loss of our spiritual essence --- creating a dangerous gap between human consciousness and the natural world. While perhaps not the most typical of Tarkovsky's works (the Swedish cast, Sven Nyqvist's photography, and the Faro location occasionally lend it a Bergmanesque quality), THE SACRIFICE is a brilliant picture that should not be missed."