Distinguished writer and philosopher Alexander, played by the renowned Bergman actor Erland Josephson, is celebrating his birthday among friends in his country house. Midway through the visit, it turns out The Bomb has been dropped; a third world war seems inevitable. As the only one who seems to realize the full extent of the imminent catastrophe, Alexander decides to sacrifice his possessions, beseeching God to avert disaster. At times the mailman turns up, throwing around random Nietzsche quotes.
Tarkovsky characterized his protagonist as "no hero, but a thinker and an honest man (...). He is in danger of not being understood, for his decisive, just action is such that to those around him it can only appear catastrophically destructive." Shortly after The Sacrifice received four awards in Cannes, including three for Tarkovsky himself, the director died of lung cancer. The fourth award went to the famous Swedish cameraman Sven Nykvist, who has also worked extensively with Ingmar Bergman.
Sat Oct 5: Dutch
Mon Oct 14: English