The Sacrifice is a 1986 drama film written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Starring Erland Josephson, the film was produced by the Swedish Film Institute. Many of the crew were alumni of Ingmar Bergman's films.
The film opens on the birthday of Alexander (Erland Josephson), an actor who gave up the stage to work as a journalist, critic and lecturer on aesthetics. He lives in a beautiful house with his actress wife Adelaide (Susan Fleetwood), stepdaughter Marta (Filippa Franzén), and young son, "Little Man", who is temporarily mute due to a throat operation. Alexander and Little Man plant a tree by the seaside, when Alexander's friend Otto, a part-time postman, delivers a birthday card to him. When Otto asks, Alexander says his relationship with God is "nonexistent". After Otto leaves, Adelaide and Victor, a medical doctor and a close family friend who performed Little Man's operation, arrive and offer to take Alexander and Little Man home in Victor's car, but Alexander prefers to stay behind and talk to his son. In his monologue, he first recounts how he and Adelaide found their house near the sea by accident, and how they fell in love with it and its surroundings, but then enters a bitter tirade against the state of modern man. As Tarkovsky wrote, Alexander is weary of "the pressures of change, the discord in his family, and his instinctive sense of the threat posed by the relentless march of technology"; in fact, he has "grown to hate the emptiness of human speech".
|award||Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix|
|editor||Andrei Tarkovsky Michał Leszczyłowski|
|events||religiosity sacrifice World War III|
|keywords||begin birthday card family friend float god gospel of john jet fighter morning nervous breakdown nuclear holocaust open paranormal phenomena witch|
|musicBy||Johann Sebastian Bach|