Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Valerie Mairesse, Allan
Edwall, Gudrun Gisladottir, Sven Wollter, Filippa Franzen, Tommy
1986, 145 Minutes, Directed by: Andrei Tarkovsky
Um, a plot synopsis of The Sacrifice? "A Swedish
writer promises God that he will destroy his own life by
renouncing his home, his family, and speech if World War III is
revoked," John Clute in his excellent Illustrated Science
Fiction Encyclopedia gives us his best shot. His guess is as
good as anybody else's I suppose. So what's the film about?
"An examination of the need for, and lack of, spirituality
in modern society," Leonard Maltin gives us his best shot.
But the point is that The Sacrifice is a good film because
of the same reason that 2001: A
Space Odyssey is a good
film: it'll give cinema audiences something to talk about (and
Sacrifice, famed Russian director Andrei (Solaris) Tarkovsky's last film, is a
pondering, intense, obscure film filled with images that will
haunt the collective memories of everybody who has seen it. Throw
in Zen Buddhism, Nietzsche and large dosages of Ibsen, add some
music by Bach and you have a film that is perhaps not in
everybody's taste, but anybody who wants more intelligence than
aliens blowing up the Empire State Building from a film should
see it . . .