Melodrama to the full, The Sacrifice is Tarkovskiy’s most emotive film. Developed using Bergman’s Faith Trilogy as an impetus, the Russian filmmaker explores common themes isolation and madness, combined with representations of an impending apocalypse, all told on a rawly humane level.
Considering it’s the first and last time Tarkovskiy worked with digital cameras the filmis beautifully cinematic. Long shots, single takes, surprisingly luxurious pallid colour tones and a phenomenal central performance from Erland Josephson. Yeah, it’s all there, in all it’s defiantly pretentious glory.
It’s nevertheless a difficult watch and certainly not for the impatient. The monologues are somewhat leaden and the same could be said of the general pacing. However, even with its slowness, The Sacrifice is a masterclass in immersive, complete filmmaking. No scene, shot or syllable is wasted. Endlessly profound, thought-provoking and filled with the countless idiosyncrasies Tarkovskiy was able to develop in his thirty year career.