Tarkovsky’s Message in Stalker

Interpreting art is not very helpful … Still, here is what I read in Stalker. The Future has arrived. Humans live bleak and dismal lives. Beyond the heavily guarded border, the Unknown Power controls the Zone. Nature is better off under this protection there. Achievements of the humanity have been driven to insignificance and decay – literature, religion, weapons, gadgets … The two most powerful sources of human knowledge, art (the Writer) and science (the Professor), which have supported the humans (the Stalker) are now helpless and lost. Because they have evolved as fraudulent and unscrupulous endeavors. Religion as a source of consolation and purpose is nowhere to be found, crushed by the Unknown Power. The Room, the ultimate destination for human power seekers, has spread evil outside the Zone by those who visited the Room. Per the Professor, this Room should be eliminated to stop the evil. But it is also the only and last Hope for the humanity, totally deprived and without any guidance from science, art or religion. Do humans even deserve to have this granting power Hope? Maybe the Hope itself is simply a trivial ploy invented by humans to have a purpose, a sense of the world and their lives – many have lost this faith in Hope already? No, because humans perceive their existence as cyclical: from joy to sorrow, from happiness to grief. And in the lowest point of each cycle, the Hope renders life its meaning.

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