I just watched The Sacrifice for the first time last night. Being a Christian who is losing all of my old favorite things left and right, discovering Tarkovsky was truly a God send. Art house cinema has always been my favorite, but rarely something that aligns with my faith and love of Jesus Christ.
I see a lot of confusion about the scene in which Alexander goes to sleep with the witch. It seemed pretty clear to me by the dialogue about his mother's garden and sister's hair, what is happening in the scene and that it's not portrayed as a good thing. It's him choosing to take matters into his own hands, chosing to save his life while keeping the world vs God saving his life by giving up the world. It's not being shown as a positive alternative in any way. Because he took matters into his own hands, his mother's garden's beauty was ruined. Because his sister went the route of the world, she ruined her gorgeous natural hair. And by choosing to go to a witch for help instead of following through on his good faith, he is choosing an unnatural, ugly way out of fear.
Then he seems to wake up from it as if it were a dream. He then repeats the same day, now he is awake and he chooses the way of faith instead of fear. Choosing to give up the world for his salvation. Choosing to give up comfort for faith.