• Feature
  • 1979
  • 162 Minutes
  • Soviet Union
  • Language: Russian

Andrey Tarkovsky on Stalker: “In this film, it was important to me to identify that which is specifically human, something fundamental and immutable, the thing that crystallises in the soul of every person and shapes their values. For although on the surface it seems that the main characters’ plans end in failure, in fact, each of them finds something in themselves of inestimably greater importance: faith, and the thing that matters most, which lives on inside every person.”

Director: Andrey Tarkovsky

Screenwriter: Arkadiy Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky

Production Company: Mosfilm Cinema Concern

Film Critic

Constant search

Mohammadreza Moghadasian

Mohammadreza Moghadasian

Stalker is a 1979 Soviet science fiction art film that depicts an expedition led by a figure known as Stalker to take his two clients —a melancholic writer, seeking inspiration, and a professor, who is after scientific discovery—to a mysterious restricted site known simply as the “Zone,” where there supposedly exists a room which grants a person’s innermost desires. The trio travel through unnerving areas filled with the debris of modern society while engaging in many arguments. The film, loosely based on the novel Roadside Picnic, is a journey to the inner world and an attempt to live in the present. The audience gets a chance to relay on their own inner space and imagination to create an image of each character and the entire film. On his movie, director Andrey Tarkovsky said, “faith, and the thing that matters most, which lives on inside every person.”

Be kind to the past

Mohsen Azarm

Mohsen Azarm

The most important moment of each person’s life is when dearest dreams comes true. There is always something that bothers him more than anything else and it’s always useless to talk about it with others. How can one talk about something that is annoying the most and how can one explain the misery in his mind But Stalker, this fearless and restless crazy, in Andrey Tarkovsky movie, stands in front of the room next to the writer and professor and adds: “when a person reviews his previous hidden life, he will be kinder”. All we see in Stalker-1979- is an effort to reach that dearest wish in front of each human being. The hard work and hard journey of Stalker, writer and the professor is to reach that strange place names “area” which is the most reminder of all the difficulties people take to achieve what they have seen in their imaginations; somewhere something more real than what we have seen before; they came all this way to reach this area; to a room in this area to be more specific; a room just like all those other rooms yet with a closer look, it is not like other rooms at all. Is it the room or people standing in the doorway of the room Are these three men the same as those who started this journey Stalker says: “all we have to do is to concentrate in the past so that wish granted to us without saying it”. Remembering the past is no easy task and being kind to the past will be even harder especially if we know that this was the last movie of Andrey Tarkovsky before taking exile as the only possible way



1979: 32nd Cannes Film Festival, The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, France

1981: 1st Festival of Festival Films in Trieste, Critics’ Award, Italy

Cast and Crew

Screenwriter: Arkadiy Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky

DOP / Camera: Aleksandr Knyazhinskiy

Editor: A. Stepanov

Music: Eduard Artemiev

Sound: Vladimir Sharun

Production Designer: Andrey Tarkovsky

Producer: Karen Shakhnazarov

Cast: Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko, Alisa Freyndlikh


Andrey Tarkovsky

Born 04.04.1932 in the village of Zavrazhye in the USSR to poet Arseny
Tarkovsky and Maria Vishnyakova. In 1954 – 1960 Tarkovsky studied film
direction at the State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in the class of
Mikhail Romm. In 1960 – 1980 he worked as film director at Mosfilm Film
Studios. In 1980 Tarkovsky went to Italy to work on the film Nostalghia. At a
press conference in July 1984 Tarkovsky announced that he did not wish to
return to the USSR. He died in Paris on 29.12.1986.

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