News of WWIII breaks out during the festivities of drama critic Alexander’s birthday celebration. With the end of the world nigh, he turns to God and vows to renounce everything near and dear to him, if the war is averted.
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Final, spiritual chapter. In Tarkosvky own words 'One way to recapture moral integrity is by having the capacity to offer oneself in sacrifice'. As Alexander is kneeling and the house goes down in fire, is for him to reconnect with oneself.
Hugely disappointing. I'm not a huge fan of « art house interior drama à la Bergman ». The cinematography is alright, but the bourgeois theatrical side of the feature bother me. Great film, but i prefer the « elusive » Tarkovsky of Stalker or The Mirror. And not the one who tried too hard to emulate the style of Bergman. He should had learnt from L'argent (1983), not from Fanny and Alexander LOL.
As "Nostalghia", it's a film haunted by the memory of Russia and shadowed by a very heavy dramaturgy, essentially variations of Chekhov and Bergman (Tystnaden), as if the inner ruins that previously lived in-off his images-sounds were to become a thematic construction. However, its formal structure is so absorbent that many times can overcome my resistance and, as in the fire's long sequence-shot, let me perplexed.
THE SACRIFICE, a great Tarkovsky film, one of it's major themes is Nietzsche's answer to nihilism: the Eternal Return. I don't know why more people don't make this connection. Maybe because Tarkovsky is considered a religious artist and that seems to contradict Nietzsche. This film is 2 1/2 hrs long but it's plot is comparetively more linear than THE MIRROR. You don't want to forget this film.
"All my life I've been going around waiting for something. All my life, in fact, I've felt as if... as if I were waiting in a railway station.And I've always felt as if... as if the living I've done so far hasn't actually been real life, but a long wait for it... a long wait for something real, something important."
The movie can also be seen as an outlet for all the things Tarkovsky might have wanted to say with more time on his hands, without the threat of cancer looming behind his back. The Sacrifice is ultimately a scream of despair and a sigh of hope, both being equally strong and just as meaningful. The final work of an artist who embraced his own philosophy and never turned his back on it.