The Sacrifice | Opfer
Former actor Alexander has withdrawn to live on a Swedish island. He is celebrating his 50th birthday there with his wife, two children and a few guests. When the Earth begins to tremble, the group hears that nuclear war has broken out. To appease God, Alexander is prepared to offer himself up as a sacrifice by sleeping with the maid, Maria, called a “witch”… This was the last film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, who was already sick when it was made. It premiered just a few weeks after the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and was hailed as the graphic admonition of a “visionary” (Ingmar Bergman). And indeed, in poetic images and philosophical-religious dialogue, The Sacrifice marries the merciless précis of its protagonist’s life with a powerful plea for modern humans to engage in self-reflection and self-restraint.
The 4K restoration faithfully retains the masterful lighting design and colour composition, including the sepia and black-and-white passages. Cinematographer Sven Nykvist won a special prize at the Cannes festival for his outstanding work on the film.
by Andrei Tarkovsky
with Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Valérie Mairesse, Allan Edwall, Guðrún Gísladóttir
Sweden / France 1986 Swedish, Subtitles: English 148' Colour World premiere of the digitally restored version | Rating R12


  • Erland Josephson
  • Susan Fleetwood
  • Valérie Mairesse
  • Allan Edwall
  • Guðrún Gísladóttir
  • Sven Wollter
  • Filippa Franzén
  • Tommy Kjellqvist


DirectorAndrei Tarkovsky
ScreenplayAndrei Tarkovsky
CinematographySven Nykvist
EditingAndrei Tarkovsky, Michal Leszczylowski
MusicW. Gönnen, Swedish and Japanese folk music, Johann Sebastian Bach
Sound DesignOwe Svensson
SoundOwe Svensson, Bo Persson
Art DirectorAnna Asp
CostumesInger Pehrsson
Make-UpFlorence Fouquier
CastingPriscilla John
ProducerAnna-Lena Wibom

World Sales

Svenska Filminstitutet

Stockholm, Sweden

Additional information

DCP: Svenska Filminstitutet, Stockholm


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