Birthdays -- Drama, Faith -- Drama, Nuclear warfare -- Drama, World War III -- Drama

The Sacrifice


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Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Valérie Mairesse, Allan Edwall,

Shot in Sweden by Ingmar Bergman’s cinematographer Sven Nykvist, The Sacrifice is set in Tarkovsky country: a vast, airy home on a remote Baltic island whose shores evoke the edge of the world. A retired actor, Alexander (Erland Josephson), finds himself in retreat from the world on the occasion of his birthday celebration, elaborately orchestrated by his bourgeois family. The television and a cold wind bring news of nuclear war—and still, the family survives. But it is the moment Alexander has waited for all his life. “The issue I raise,” Tarkovsky said, “is one that to my mind is most crucial: the absence in our culture of room for a spiritual existence.” Of related interest: Chris Marker's portrait of Tarkovsky, One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich, screens in our series Reverse Angle this season.

  • Sven Nykvist
  • Swedish
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 149 mins
  • Kino Lorber

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View The Sacrifice documents  

Tarkovsky at 70 (program note), Film Society of Lincoln Center, 2002

The poetry of apocalypse: the films of Andrei Tarkovsky (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, James Quandt, 2002

Offret (program note), Toronto International Film Festival, Robert Lepage, 2000

The sacrifice (distributor materials), New Yorker Films, 1995

The sacrifice (press kit), New Yorker Films, 1990

Offret (program note), Karlovy Vary Film Festival, 1988

The sacrifice (program note), Hong Kong Film Festival, 1987

Homenaje in memoriam: Andrei Tarkovski (program), Cinemateca de Cuba, 1987

A tribute to Andrei Tarkovsky (program), Hong Kong Film Festival, Michael Lam, 1987

Offret (program note), Europa Cinema, Andrei Arsenevich Tarkovskii, 1986

Displaying 10 of 30 publicly available documents.

View all The Sacrifice documentation on CineFiles.