Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterpiece adaptation of Stanslav Lem’s Solaris explores grief, conscience and our inadequacy for communication.
The brilliant 1972 film is a meditative psychological drama aboard a space station orbiting a mysterious ocean planet and, amidst a space race between the US and USSR, was seen as a Soviet counterpart of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Three scientists living and working on the space station have fallen into emotional crises and isolation. Psychologist Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) is sent to investigate only to experience the life-changing phenomena as the others.
Here he is looking at the materialized, sentient memory of his late wife (Natalya Bondarchuk).
An attempt to establish a communication with others (both humans and species) while neglecting to investigate our inner depths, can come back as a nightmarish haunting, Solaris shows, and quite literally too.
We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.
This quote from Dr. Gibarian’s monologue captures the profound message of the film quite well.