A psychologist is sent to a space station to investigate a number of strange events. A spaceship and its crew are orbiting the ocean planet of Solaris, which – weird as it may sound – seems to be capable of probing and materializing unconscious fears and memories. It's dreams coming true: astronaut Kelvin is visited by his former girlfriend, who committed suicide a long time ago. Eventually, the entire crew is suffering from hallucinations and reality has disappeared.
With Solaris, based on Stanisław Lem's eponymous book, Tarkovsky entered the field of science fiction. No flashy space battles, but a meditation and existential drama of humanity and love. In 2002, Steven Soderbergh made a remake starring George Clooney. The film is often referred to as the Russian version of Kubrick's 2001, A Space Odyssey, a comparison Tarkovsky himself rejected. He also wanted to avoid the "exoticism of technology" of traditional science fiction.
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