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Followed by a recorded panel discussion entitled "Sci-Fi Behind the Iron Curtain," with Tomasz Kolankiewicz, Artistic Director, Polish Film Festival in Gdynia and Dr. Eliza Rose, Assistant Professor, Central European Studies, University of North Carolina; moderated by Gabriel M. Paletz, Professor of Film History, Prague Film School.

A visionary work of Eastern Bloc science fiction, this mesmerizing Czechoslovak adaptation of a novel by Stanisław Lem melds Cold War ideology and utopian futurism into a tour de force of space-age modernism. In the year 2163, a band of astronauts embarks on a 15-year voyage deep into outer space, in hopes of discovering life in another galaxy. It's a perilous journey during which they confront the wreckage of the 20th century, the chilling vastness of the cosmos and their own mortality. A triumph of avant-garde production design that served as a model for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, IKARIE XB 1 — long known internationally only through a mangled and dubbed re-edit — is a singular sci-fi landmark that finds both terror and wonder in the unknown. (Note adapted from Janus Films.)

Lem 2021: I've Seen the Future

A Stanisław Lem Centennial Screening Series

April 29–June 10


To mark the centennial of Polish literature icon Stanisław Lem (1921–2006), Poland has declared 2021 the "Year of Stanisław Lem," with dozens of events and artistic projects being organized to mark the occasion across the world. In collaboration with the Polish Film Festival Miami and the Embassy of Poland in Washington, DC, AFI Silver is proud to present a selection of five films inspired by Lem's work.


Perhaps best known worldwide as the author of the 1961 novel, "Solaris," Stanisław Lem produced dozens upon dozens of novels, stories and essays throughout his nearly 60-year career. Renowned particularly for his work in the realm of science fiction, Lem's artistic output covers a plethora of genres, encompassing memoirs, accounts of his wartime experiences and philosophical texts. His science fiction narratives themselves often take unexpected and experimental forms, extending freely into the territories of philosophy and satire to create worlds that to contemporary eyes eerily prefigure everything from Google to virtual reality and smartphones.


This series spotlights some of the many eclectic, cinematic adaptations of Lem's work, from filmmakers as diverse as Andrei Tarkovsky (SOLARIS [1972]) and Andrzej Wajda (ROLY POLY) to Ari Folman (THE CONGRESS) and Steven Soderbergh (SOLARIS [2002]).


Presented by the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, the Polish Film Festival Miami and the Embassy of Poland in Washington, DC. For all films screening online in AFI Silver's Virtual Screening Room, click here. For films screening online via the Polish Film Festival Miami, visit movies.pffmiami.com.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    86 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Rating
  • Note
    With English subtitles.
  • Director
    Jindřich Polák
  • Screenwriter
    Jindřich Polák, Pavel Juráček, from the novel "The Magellanic Cloud" by Stanisław Lem
  • Producer
    Rudolf Wolf
  • Cast
    Zdeněk Štěpánek, Radovan Lukavský, František Smolík, Dana Medřická