Stalker (1979) IMDb

Creators

Konstantin Lopushansky (assistant director), Andrei Tarkovsky (director).

Categorization

Philosophical SF from a script by the brothers Strugatsky.

Subject

Some twenty years ago, a meteor was thought to crash in a small, unnamed country. However, no meteorite was ever found. The site of the supposed impact began to exhibit absurd breakdowns of natural laws. The government sent troops. Their tanks are now overgrown and rusted. The heart of the site is a place where your most profound desire is fulfilled. Fearing the consequences of hostile wishes, the government had the entire area cordoned off. Even so, desperate individuals still hire the services of equally desperate guides to break through the perimeter and enter the vibrant Zone. A writer and a scientist are next in line.

Commentary

Stalker is not the sinister English word, just a transliteration of Сталкер, “guide”. The film is composed mainly of retakes on a decreased budget because the original footage was destroyed, a fact about which there are many legends: Failure in development of experimental Kodak celluloid, Soviet censor sabotage, or a laboratory fire. Based on a more conventional SF novel and on a real 1957 accident at a Soviet nuclear reactor.

References here: HyperNormalisation (2016).

fiction moving picture