Czechoslovakia, 1963 (MIFF 2017, Sci-Fi)

Director: Jindřich Polák


Jindřich Polák's pioneering sci-fi masterpiece is little known, but its DNA can be seen throughout the genre, from Star Trek to 2001: A Space Odyssey … and beyond!

In 2163, the Ikarie XB-1 is on an interstellar mission to seek out new life. As its human and robotic crew navigate the dangers of deep-space, and the daily realities of life onboard a starship, they must deal with a devastating 20th-century legacy and try not to go mad.

Loosely based on The Magellanic Cloud, an early work of Solaris author Stanisław Lem that has never been translated into English, Ikarie XB-1 is an award-winning jewel of communist science fiction that remains as extraordinary today as it was in 1963. With then-revolutionary FX and production design, as well as intelligent, existential storytelling and an avant-garde electronic soundtrack from trailblazing Czech composer Zdeněk Liška, it was shot in exquisite black and white that demands a big screen – especially now that it looks better than ever thanks to a long overdue 4K restoration!

Forget the dubbed and recut American version released as Voyage to the End of the Universe; this is a rare opportunity to see the original film as it was meant to be seen.

'A game-changing film that profoundly influenced the genre and showed that science-fiction movies weren't only about special effects; they were also high art ... This Czech movie remains one of the most original and exciting science fiction films ever made.' – The Guardian

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