“Brilliant and audacious, with one of the most extraordinary final sequences in modern cinema”
The threat of nuclear war is broadcast on television. Panicked, Alexander makes a pact with the Almighty; if he sacrifices himself and all he holds dear, the world will be saved. Tarkovsky described his filmmaking as "sculpting in time", and The Sacrifice's muted tones and glacial tracking shots build to one of the most climactic moments in cinema.
Winner of the Grand Prix at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival, The Sacrifice was Tarkovsky's final masterpiece (completed on his deathbed) and his most explicit ode to Ingmar Bergman, whose work he greatly admired. Bergman's cinematographer, Sven Nykvist and sound mixer Owe Svensson collaborated on the film, and it stars Bergman regulars Erland Josephson (Alexander) and Allan Edwall (Otto).