Screencap from the film's trailer, March 26, 2018 –Youtube/kinolorber
CAIRO – 27 March 2018: Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, "The Sacrifice", will be screening at ADEF Deca on Tuesday.
A haunting philosophical masterpiece, the film explores just how much we're willing to give up and why to avert an unimaginable catastrophe. It begins on a small island, where Alexander (Erland Josephson), a retired actor and journalist, is celebrating his birthday. He asks his young son to help him plant a tree.
After his family members arrive to celebrate the occasion, horrific news breaks out on the radio: World War III has come and fighter planes are on their way to unleash the nuclear apocalypse.
Gripped with despair, Alexander, despite being an atheist, pleads with God to avert the war by any means necessary, even if it means taking his own life. This only marks the beginning of a powerful, philosophical journey that draws on topics such as morality, faith and religion in a true cinematic experience. It also draws heavy influence from the filmmaking of acclaimed German director Ingmar Bergman; indeed, the film is shot on the very same island Bergman lived on.
Tarkovsky, responsible for other cinematic masterpieces such as "Stalker" (1979), held nothing back for his final movie, delivering a spiritual and symbolic film that seems to serve as his final farewell to the world, and most of all, to his faithful audiences.
Even sadder is the realization that Tarkovsky only learned of his tumor half-way through filming, casting the message of the movie in a new light. But there still remains a dignified strength to it; it is the parting gift of a master.
Released on November 1986, the film won the BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988 and also won several awards at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986, such as Best Artistic Contribution, FIPRESCI Prize, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and Grand Prize of the Jury. It was even a nominee for the prestigious Palme d'Or award.