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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"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."
There is no plot to speak of; the film is an in-depth character study. Tarkovsky has given the main character so many dimensions. Elements of magic realism serve to enhance the character's despair and isolation, but there are finely-crafted human details that give the film a very realistic sense. The world Tarkovsky has created is like a vivid dream. 9.5/10
молодец мистер Тарковский !
This to me is Tarkovsky's greatest work. Sartre called his style "social surrealism," and I read this film as a mid-period Bunuel without all the poke-in-the-ribs jokes, bone dry. It's a drawing-room farce to end them all, the true Exterminating Angel.
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.