Release of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker
Filming lasted for more than three years; the plot is based on the novel of the Strugatsky brothers Roadside Picnic. The action takes place in the forbidden territory the Zone, where there is a room which actualizes the most cherished desires. Both popular Writer and distinguished Professor go there – each for his own reasons about which they prefer not to talk. Adventurers are led by the main character nicknamed Stalker. He has been recently released from prison and leads a poverty-stricken life with a crippled daughter and a wife; he earns his living by illegal expeditions into the Zone.
Filming process was accompanied by a multitude of problems: the first variant of the movie was almost completely lost in the process of film development; also the movie was re-filmed thrice with three different operators and production designers. The movie was not allowed to be released for a long time, however, unlike most other Tarkovsky’s works, it avoided censorship and had a pretty successful fate in the USSR. Stalker was awarded with the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the XXXIII Cannes International Film Festival.
Stalker was the last movie directed by Andrei Tarkovsky in the Soviet Union, after it he went abroad. The movie is often called fatal to its creators. Many of people involved in the film production met premature deaths, including actors starred in main parts: Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy as Stalker, Anatoly Solonitsyn as Writer, Nikolai Grinko as Professor, as well as Arkady Strugatsky and even Andrei Tarkovsky. In the early 1990s, film cutter Lyudmila Feyginova died in a fire.