International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


The sacrifice

Andrey Tarkovsky's gift of death

Alexander Kozin

pp. 173-204


This article is designed to disclose the meaning of sacrifice as it is depicted in Andrey Tarkovsky’s film The Sacrifice. The film tells about a former classical actor named Alexander who in the face of the nuclear Apocalypse discovers his true calling – saving humanity from imminent destruction. In order to accomplish his calling, he has to sacrifice his “life”, exchanging it for peace that comes about as a reversal of time which happens in response to his prayer to God as well as his intimate encounter with the local witch. The analysis of the film’s narrative imagery is carried out with Jacques Derrida whose essays on gift, name, and language demonstrate the uniqueness of the film maker’s vision of absolute duty and the call of conscience that restores the true faith in the soul of modern man at the time of the ultimate horror.

Publication details

Published in:

Hagedorn Ludger, Sternad Christian (2018) Phenomenologies of sacrifice. Metodo 6 (2).

Pages: 173-204

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.6.2.173

Full citation:

Kozin Alexander (2018) „The sacrifice: Andrey Tarkovsky's gift of death“. Metodo 6 (2), 173–204.