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Prior to publishing his science-fiction novel "The Astronauts," Stanisław Lem drew upon his experiences in medical school to write a novel set during the grim realities of World War II (and swiftly suppressed). In Edward Żebrowski's unnerving adaptation, a young new doctor at a rural mental hospital struggles to uphold humane standards and deal with the motley staff, including aloof head doctors, an eccentric poet and a delicious cynic with whom he falls in love. Their troubled sanctuary then faces even harder decisions — and a very real dystopia — with the arrival of the Nazis. (Note courtesy of Film at Lincoln Center.)

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
    90 minutes
  • Language
    Polish, German
  • Country
  • Rating
  • Note
    With English subtitles.
  • Director
    Edward Żebrowski
  • Screenwriter
    Edward Żebrowski, Michał Komar, from the novel by Stanisław Lem
  • Producer
    Studio Filmowe "Tor"
  • Cast
    Piotr Dejmek, Jerzy Bińczycki, Henryk Bista