Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Offret-Sacrificatio
Sweden/United Kingdom/France, 1986. Svenska Filminstitutet, Argos Films, Film Four International, Josephson & Nykvist HB, Sveriges Television, Sandrews. Screenplay by Andrei Tarkovsky. Cinematography by Sven Nykvist. Produced by Anna-Lena Wibom. Production Design by Anna Asp. Costume Design by Inger Pehrsson. Film Editing by Michal Leszczylowski, Andrei Tarkovsky. Cannes Film Festival 1986.
Andrei Tarkovsky’s maddeningly slow style of filmmaking once again produces a rich experience in this brilliant post-apocalyptic drama that he made in Sweden. Erland Josephson is fantastic as an actor and philosopher who is celebrating his birthday party with his family when they hear on the news that World War III has begun and the world is about to end in a nuclear fury. Their coping with the news is how you’ll spend the next two and a half hours, in endless contemplation over life, death and human morality, but if you’re in the right frame of mind you’ll get a lot out of it. Unlike other movies, which would use visual effects to tell this kind of story, The Sacrifice details the experience from within the character’s emotions without any overdone action sequences or dramatic conflicts. The conclusion, one of the longest single takes in film history, is staggering in detail. A marvelous addition to the works of an uncompromising artist, here making his final film before his untimely death at the age of 54.