I saw Tarkovsky’s Solaris in a movie theater in Oslo when I was around twenty and it made a big impression on me. I LOVED it.
Here was a movie that reflected how we relate to our own unprocessed psychological material.
On an ocean planet, there is a human research station. If people there have something unresolved with someone important from their past, the ocean will manifest these people. It’s impossible to get rid of them since they just come back, and it’s impossible to leave since it’s a research station far from Earth. It’s the perfect alchemical vessel. Some can’t deal with it and go crazy, and others take it as an opportunity to process and find a resolution.
That’s a metaphor for life. Life (in the form of our mind) will always bring up what’s unprocessed in us, and we can relate to it in a few different ways. We can try to ignore it and pretend it’s not there. We can struggle with it and try to make it go away. And we can meet it, process it, find some kind of resolution, and perhaps even grow from it.
At the time – in my teens and early twenties – I was deeply into Jung. I read everything the bookstores in Oslo (Norli, Tanum) could get from him, which was a few dozen books, and absorbed it like a sponge. And Solaris, of course, fits perfectly with exploring our shadow and finding healing for old unresolved issues.
I haven’t seen Solaris since then so perhaps it’s time to rewatch it. I have also wanted to read the story it’s based on, written by Stanislav Lem.
P.S. I see the movie is available on YT now.
P.P.S. It’s now a few days later and I have listened to the audiobook and rewatched the movie. The story is certainly very Jungian and about the shadow, and full of reflections and metaphors. I still love the essence and that aspect of it. And I also see that this is something I loved at that time, in early adulthood, and I am now drawn to slightly different kinds of movies and books. (More gentle and heartfelt ones.)