Andrei Tarkovsky · The sacrifice (1986)

Come here and give me a hand, my boy!

Once upon a time, long ago, an old monk lived in an orthodox monastery. His name was Pamve. And once he planted a barren tree on a mountainside just like this. Then he told his young pupil, a monk named Ioann Kolov, that he should water the tree each day until it came to life.

Put a few stones there, will you?

Anyway, early every morning Ioann filled a bucket with water and went out. He climbed up the mountain and watered the withered tree and, in the evening, when darkness had fallen, he returned to the monastery. He did this for three years. And one fine day, he climbed up the mountain and saw that the whole tree was covered with blossoms! Say what you will, but a method, a system, has its virtues. You know, sometimes I say to myself, if every single day, at exactly the same stroke of the clock, one were to perform the same single act, like a ritual, unchanging, systematic, every day at the same time, the world would be changed. Yes, something would change.