Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky • 1986 • Sweden
Starring Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall
Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky’s final masterpiece is a haunting vision of a world threatened with nuclear annihilation. As a wealthy Swedish family celebrates the birthday of their patriarch, Alexander (Erland Josephson), news of the outbreak of World War III reaches their remote Baltic island. For Alexander, a philosopher troubled by man’s lack of spirituality, the prospect of certain extinction compels the ultimate sacrifice, and he enters into a Faustian bargain with God to save his loved ones from the fear which grips them. Made as the director was dying of cancer, THE SACRIFICE is the deeply personal last testament of a singular artist, a profoundly moving, redemptive tragedy steeped in unforgettable imagery and heart-wrenching emotion.