The story follows the book "Solaris" by Stanislav Lem. Solaris is a planet covered by the ocean. One of the hypothesis is that this ocean is a thinking matter that tries to correspond with humans. Misterious events happen at Solaris space station: personnel disappears, scientific experiments are in dolldrums, eventually contact with station is lost. A researcher played by the famous Soviet era Lithuanian actor - Banionis - is sent to investigate the situation and take a decision on whether to continue the work on a station or close it down... However, let the viewer be forewarned that anybody expecting a thriller will be utterly disappointed. The film is a contemplation and analysis of what we consider important in our lives. The questions of duty, love, memory, nostalgia and soul occupy most of the film's content. In a way, science fiction only serves a purpose of the best conduit to explore the most important issues of human existence. It is a definite tribute to Tarkovsky's mastery that film manages to convey its ideas with a bare minimum of science fiction stunts (if any) and very minimal other technical means of expression. Aspiring film makers can learn from Tarkovsky on how to create one of the most powerful images ever seen in the world cinema without big budgets or artificial wizardry. Tarkovsky is a very consistent director in his film making. The attention to small details of nature, slow camera exploration of every shot will be familiar to the viewers who saw his other films. Indeed, after Mirror and Andrei Rublev, Solaris is a natural progression of Tarkovsky's initiate. The pleasure of recognising the common themes of all his films is an important viewing experience. Solaris is more understating than "Mirror" or "Andrei Rublev" in its expression of Tarkovsky's own views. While it makes the film a touch more dificult (relative to the other two films)to understand, it definitely gives the viewer more room for interpretation and own exploration of spiritual topic.