Natassia Feinberg

Written by Natassia Feinberg

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Welcome to the fascinating world of Solaris, a thought-provoking and enigmatic movie that has captured the hearts of cinephiles for decades. Released in 1972, Solaris is a Soviet science fiction film directed by the legendary Andrei Tarkovsky, known for his deep philosophical approach and visually stunning imagery.

Solaris tells the story of Kris Kelvin, a psychologist who travels to a space station orbiting the mysterious planet Solaris. As Kelvin investigates the strange happenings on the station, he confronts both personal and existential challenges that blur the lines between reality and imagination.

In this article, we will delve into the intriguing world of Solaris and explore 47 fascinating facts about the movie. From its unique production process to its lasting impact on the science fiction genre, get ready to embark on a journey that will unravel the secrets behind this cinematic masterpiece.

Key Takeaways:

  • Solaris is a classic sci-fi film with deep themes and stunning visuals. It challenges viewers to ponder the nature of reality and the complexities of human relationships.
  • The movie’s thought-provoking storytelling and poetic dialogue make it a must-watch for fans of science fiction and introspective films. Its impact on cinema is profound and enduring.
Table of Contents

Solaris is based on a novel by Stanis?aw Lem.

The film was adapted from the 1961 novel of the same name written by Polish author Stanis?aw Lem.

The movie tells the story of a psychologist sent to investigate strange occurrences on a space station orbiting the planet Solaris.

Dr. Kris Kelvin is summoned to investigate the unusual behavior of the crew members and the mysterious power of the planet Solaris.

Solaris was primarily filmed in the Estonian SSR, part of the Soviet Union at that time.

The movie’s unique atmosphere and landscapes were captured in the stunning Estonian countryside.

The film explores themes of memory, identity, and the limits of human understanding.

Solaris delves into the complexities of human consciousness and the nature of reality.

Solaris received international acclaim and won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972.

The film was praised for its philosophical depth and artistic vision.

The soundtrack for Solaris was composed by renowned composer Eduard Artemyev.

The haunting and atmospheric music adds to the ambiance of the film, further immersing viewers in its mysterious world.

Solaris was remade in 2002 by Steven Soderbergh with George Clooney in the lead role.

While the remake received mixed reviews, it brought the intriguing story of Solaris to a new generation of viewers.

Solaris is often considered one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made.

Its philosophical themes, stunning visuals, and powerful performances continue to captivate audiences to this day.

The movie’s runtime is approximately 166 minutes.

Solaris is a slow-paced film that encourages contemplation and reflection.

Andrei Tarkovsky dedicated Solaris to his mother.

Tarkovsky acknowledged the influence of his mother’s love and support on his artistic journey.

Solaris had its premiere in 1972 at the Moscow Film Festival.

The film’s premiere was met with great anticipation and cemented Tarkovsky’s reputation as a visionary filmmaker.

Solaris explores the concept of a sentient ocean on the planet Solaris.

The planet’s ocean possesses the power to materialize people’s memories and bring them to life.

Solaris received critical acclaim in the United States after its release.

It was praised for its intelligent storytelling and thought-provoking themes.

The budget for Solaris was $1.5 million.

Despite its relatively low budget, the film achieved great artistic success.

Solaris uses long takes and deliberate pacing to create a sense of introspection.

Tarkovsky’s directing style allows viewers to immerse themselves in the characters’ emotional journey.

The cinematography in Solaris is visually stunning.

From the breathtaking shots of the space station to the vast expanse of the planet Solaris, the visuals are a testament to Tarkovsky’s mastery.

Solaris was criticized by some Soviet authorities for its ambiguous and abstract narrative.

It deviated from the typical narrative structure in Soviet cinema at the time.

Solaris was influenced by the works of French author Jean-Paul Sartre and Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov.

Tarkovsky drew inspiration from their philosophical ideas about the human condition.

Solaris has been praised for its realistic portrayal of space travel.

The film does not rely on flashy special effects but instead focuses on the psychological aspects of the characters’ experiences.

Solaris was the first Soviet science fiction film to receive a wide international release.

It introduced Soviet cinema to a global audience and showcased the country’s filmmaking talent.

The movie explores the limitations of human language and communication.

It raises questions about our ability to truly understand and connect with others.

Solaris was banned in several Eastern European countries during the Soviet era.

Its themes of individualism and existentialism were seen as subversive by the authorities.

The character of Dr. Kris Kelvin is brilliantly portrayed by actor Donatas Banionis.

His nuanced performance captures the emotional turmoil and confusion faced by the character.

Solaris raises philosophical questions about the nature of reality and perception.

It challenges viewers to contemplate the boundaries of human understanding.

Solaris explores the idea of love and its ability to transcend time and space.

The film examines the complexities of human relationships and the power of love to endure.

Solaris is known for its striking visual imagery.

The film features stunning landscapes, dream-like sequences, and poetic visuals that enhance the narrative.

The movie’s screenplay was written by Andrei Tarkovsky and Fridrikh Gorenshtein.

Tarkovsky and Gorenshtein collaborated closely to adapt Lem’s novel for the screen.

Solaris was selected as the Soviet entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 45th Academy Awards.

Although it did not receive a nomination, its selection was a significant recognition of its artistic merits.

Solaris is a deeply philosophical and introspective film.

It challenges viewers to ponder the nature of existence and the complexities of the human psyche.

The movie’s dialogue is thought-provoking and poetic.

Tarkovsky, known for his lyrical approach to filmmaking, infuses the dialogue with deeper meaning.

Solaris explores the blurred lines between reality and imagination.

The film creates a sense of ambiguity that invites viewers to question what is real and what is a product of the characters’ minds.

The character of Hari, played by Natalya Bondarchuk, is a pivotal figure in the film.

Her appearance challenges Kelvin’s perception of reality and forces him to confront his own inner demons.

Solaris is often regarded as one of Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterpieces.

It showcases his unique vision and his ability to delve into profound philosophical themes.

Solaris was released during a time of cinematic experimentation in the Soviet Union.

It pushed the boundaries of traditional storytelling and influenced a new generation of filmmakers.

The movie’s pacing and deliberate slow-burn approach may not appeal to all viewers.

However, those who appreciate its contemplative nature will find it a deeply rewarding experience.

Solaris has been praised for its realistic portrayal of the psychological effects of isolation.

The characters’ experiences on the space station reflect the mental toll of prolonged solitude.

The cinematography in Solaris captures the beauty and vastness of space.

It conveys both the awe-inspiring nature of the cosmos and the claustrophobic atmosphere of the space station.

Solaris raises questions about the ethical implications of scientific exploration.

The actions of the scientists on the space station lead to moral dilemmas and consequences.

Solaris challenges traditional narrative structures and defies easy categorization.

It blurs the line between science fiction, drama, and existential meditation.

The movie’s minimalist production design adds to its atmospheric and otherworldly quality.

Every detail is carefully crafted to enhance the viewer’s immersion in the story.

Solaris was initially met with mixed reviews from Soviet critics.

While some praised its artistic merits, others criticized its departure from conventional narrative structures.

The original cut of Solaris was over three hours long.

However, it was eventually shortened to focus on the core themes and narrative.

Solaris has influenced numerous filmmakers and artists with its unique approach to storytelling.

Its impact can be seen in works that explore similar themes of perception, memory, and love.

Solaris was restored in 2011 with the support of the Criterion Collection.

The restoration preserved the film’s original visual and auditory quality for future generations to enjoy.

The movie’s open-ended conclusion leaves room for interpretation.

It invites viewers to contemplate the deeper meaning of the story and form their own conclusions.

Solaris serves as a poignant reminder of the power of cinema to provoke thought and encourage self-reflection.

It is a testament to the enduring impact of art in exploring the complexities of the human experience.

Solaris remains a cult classic that continues to captivate audiences with its timeless themes and mesmerizing storytelling.

The film’s legacy lives on, inspiring new generations to delve into its enigmatic narrative.

These 47 facts about the movie Solaris showcase its profound impact on the world of cinema. From its philosophical exploration of human consciousness to its visually stunning cinematography, Solaris continues to leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re a fan of science fiction or a lover of thought-provoking films, Solaris is an absolute must-watch.

Sources: IMDB, Criterion Collection, FilmSchoolRejects


In conclusion, Solaris is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking film that delves into complex themes of love, memory, and the nature of reality. With its stunning visuals, atmospheric music, and brilliant performances, it captivates audiences and leaves them pondering its philosophical implications. Whether you’re a fan of science fiction or simply appreciate intelligent and introspective cinema, Solaris is a must-watch. Its exploration of deep human emotions and existential questions sets it apart from other films in the genre, making it a timeless classic that continues to be relevant today.


Q: What is the plot of Solaris?

A: Solaris follows the story of Kris Kelvin, a psychologist who is sent to investigate strange occurrences on a space station orbiting a distant planet called Solaris. As Kelvin delves deeper into his mission, he confronts his own past and grapples with his perception of reality.

Q: Is Solaris a science fiction film?

A: Yes, Solaris is classified as a science fiction film. It combines elements of space exploration, futuristic technology, and psychological drama to create a unique and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

Q: Who directed Solaris?

A: Solaris was directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, a renowned Soviet filmmaker known for his poetic and introspective style. His masterful direction and attention to detail contribute to the film’s atmospheric and immersive quality.

Q: When was Solaris released?

A: Solaris was first released in 1972. It has since gained critical acclaim and a strong cult following for its profound themes and artistic merits.

Q: Are there any adaptations of Solaris?

A: Yes, Solaris has been adapted into other forms of media. The most well-known adaptation is the 2002 American film directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring George Clooney. It offers a different interpretation of the story while staying true to the core themes.

Q: What makes Solaris unique?

A: Solaris stands out for its philosophical exploration of human emotions and existential questions. It tackles themes of love, memory, and perception, leaving viewers contemplating the nature of reality long after the film ends.

Q: Is Solaris a slow-paced film?

A: Yes, Solaris is often praised for its deliberate pacing, which allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere and contemplate the deeper meanings behind the story. It requires patience and an appreciation for introspective storytelling.

Q: Is Solaris suitable for all audiences?

A: Solaris deals with mature themes and may not be suitable for younger viewers. It contains adult content and requires a certain level of intellectual engagement to fully appreciate its nuances.

Q: Does Solaris have a definitive interpretation?

A: Solaris intentionally leaves certain aspects open to interpretation, allowing audiences to form their own conclusions. It offers multiple layers of meaning and invites viewers to engage with the film on a personal and intellectual level.

If you're captivated by the psychological depths of Solaris, don't miss our exploration of the psychological drama in The Servant. Dive into existential themes with our fascinating facts about It's Such A Beautiful Day. And for more Andrei Tarkovsky brilliance, check out our article on Stalker, another cinematic masterpiece that will leave you pondering the nature of reality and the human condition.

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