Solaris (Russian: «Солярис», tr. Solyaris) is a 1972 science fiction art house film adaptation of the novel Solaris (1961), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The film is a meditative psychological drama occurring mostly aboard a space station orbiting the fictional planet Solaris. The scientific mission has stalled out because the meager skeleton crew of three scientists have fallen into separate emotional crises. Psychologist Kris Kelvin travels to the Solaris space station to evaluate the situation only to encounter the same mysterious phenomenon as the others.
The science fiction novel by Polish author Stanisław Lem is about the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species. Tarkovsky's adaptation is a “drama of grief and partial recovery” concentrated upon the thoughts and the consciences of the cosmonaut scientists studying an extra-terrestrial (alien) life. The psychologically complex and slow-paced narrative of Solaris has been contrasted to hyper-kinetic Western science fiction films which typically rely upon fast narrative pacing and elaborate special effects to communicate character psychology and an imagined future. The ideas which Tarkovsky tried to express in this film are further developed in Stalker (1979).