Andrei Tarkovsky is a Russian director who has made a number of films, including the feature film and the short film.

He also directed three documentaries and an episode of the television series.

Andrei Tarkovsky was born in Moscow in 1928.

His father was a theater director, but he did not follow his father’s profession and became an engineer instead.

Andrei Tarkovsky has been called “the greatest filmmaker ever” by many critics.

His films have won him awards all over the world, including two Oscars for The Mirror (1957) and Solaris (1972).

Andrei Tarkovsky’s cinema is very different from other directors’ work because it does not use dialogue or action but instead uses visual images to tell stories that are told in silence or through actions alone.


Best Andrei Tarkovsky Movies

Who Was Andrei Tarkovsky?

Andrei Tarkovsky is one of the greatest directors of all time.

His films are known for their profound visual language and deep philosophical themes.

His films often tell a story in a single take, and they use long takes to create a sense of meditative calm.

Tarkovsky’s films are rich with philosophical meaning and spiritual insight.

His films are often slow to begin, but they end up with powerful imagery that stays with you long after the film has ended.

Many critics consider Andrei Tarkovsky one of the greatest arthouse directors of all time, and he ranks among the best European directors in history, along with Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, and Michelangelo Antonioni.



The first Andrei Tarkovsky film was called Ivan’s Childhood (1962), which was based on his own childhood memories.

This film focused on Ivan’s childhood experiences, especially those of his grandmother who lived with them while they were growing up.

The main character in this story is Ivan who misses his mother but does not know why she left or if she will return for him one day as promised by her father who is also present in this film

Best Andrei Tarkovsky Films

Andrei Tarkovsky’s films are among the most widely discussed, lauded and imitated in world cinema.

He was born on March 11, 1932, in St.

Petersburg. His father was an engineer and his mother a teacher; he was educated at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Leningrad where he studied painting and cinema.

After graduating from art school in 1956, Tarkovsky served as an art director for two years on a documentary film about Stalin’s purges.

In 1957 he joined Mosfilm Studios as a graphic designer and illustrator, but soon began directing short films for children’s television programs.

In 1961 he made his first feature-length film, The Solar Barque (Soyuz sokrovishcha), which received little attention from either critics or audiences.

His second film, Ivan’s Childhood (Ivanovo detstvo), won him international acclaim; it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1963, and is considered one of the greatest Soviet movies ever made.

Tarkovsky followed this with Ivan’s Childhood (Ivanovo detstvo) (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Mirror (Mir Mir) (1975), and Nostalghia (1983).

Tarkovsky’s last

1. Stalker (1979)

Stalker is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking film that will leave you pondering its themes for days.

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, this science fiction masterpiece takes a deep dive into the human psyche, using a surreal journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape to explore the nature of faith, hope, and desire.

The film follows a writer, a scientist, and a guide as they travel through a mysterious area known only as The Zone, in search of a place called The Room, which is said to grant wishes to those who enter it.

As they journey deeper into The Zone, they are confronted with obstacles and challenges that force them to confront their innermost fears and desires.

The cinematography in Stalker is stunning, with the use of long, uninterrupted shots and a muted color palette creating a haunting and otherworldly atmosphere.

The performances by the cast are also exceptional, with each actor bringing a depth and complexity to their respective roles.

But what really sets Stalker apart is its exploration of existential themes.

The film asks us to consider the nature of reality, the power of belief, and the limits of human understanding.

It’s a film that will challenge you, provoke you, and leave you with more questions than answers.

2. Andrei Rublev (1966)

Andrei Rublev is a cinematic masterpiece that immerses viewers in the tumultuous world of medieval Russia.

Directed by the legendary filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, this epic film follows the life and work of the titular character, a 15th-century icon painter.

The film is a visual feast, with stunningly shot scenes that capture the beauty and brutality of medieval Russia.

The cinematography is breathtaking, and the use of black and white film adds to the film’s overall sense of bleakness and despair.

At times, the film can be challenging to watch, as it explores themes of violence, suffering, and the struggle for artistic expression.

But the payoff is worth it, as viewers are rewarded with a profound meditation on the nature of art, faith, and human existence.

The performances in Andrei Rublev are uniformly excellent, with Anatoly Solonitsyn delivering a standout turn as the brooding and tortured artist.


The film is also notable for its use of non-professional actors, which gives it a sense of authenticity and realism.

Andrei Rublev
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov (Actors)
  • Andrei Tarkovsky (Director) - Andrei Tarkovsky (Writer) - Tamara Ogorodnikova (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. Mirror (1975)

Mirror is a hauntingly beautiful film that blurs the lines between reality and memory.

Directed by the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, this film explores the life of a dying poet who reflects on his past through a series of dreamlike sequences.

Tarkovsky’s use of imagery is simply mesmerizing, with stunning shots of nature and the surrounding environment that are both breathtaking and evocative.

The film’s meandering narrative can be challenging to follow at times, but it’s all part of the experience, as Tarkovsky invites the viewer to lose themselves in the film’s dreamlike world.

The performances are uniformly excellent, particularly that of Margarita Terekhova, who plays the poet’s ex-wife.

Her emotional range is simply stunning, and she brings a depth of feeling to her character that is truly remarkable.

The Mirror
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Margarita Terekhova, Ignat Daniltsev, Larissa Tarkovskaya (Actors)
  • Andrey Tarkovsky (Director) - Alexander Misharin; Andrey Tarkovsky (Writer) - Erik Waisberg...
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. The Sacrifice (1986)

The Sacrifice is a haunting and philosophical masterpiece that explores themes of faith, sacrifice, and the end of the world.

Directed by the legendary filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, this film is a slow burn that requires patience and contemplation.

It follows the story of Alexander, a retired actor who learns of an impending nuclear apocalypse and decides to make a sacrificial offering in order to save the world.

The film is visually stunning, with Tarkovsky’s signature long takes and use of natural landscapes.

The performances are also incredible, particularly by Erland Josephson who plays Alexander with a quiet intensity.

The dialogue is thought-provoking and poetic, with themes of love, family, and the meaning of life woven throughout.

At times, The Sacrifice can be challenging to follow and may not appeal to those who prefer fast-paced action.

However, for those who are willing to engage with its themes and take the time to appreciate its beauty, this film is a truly unforgettable experience.

It is a testament to Tarkovsky’s genius and a must-see for anyone interested in the art of cinema.

The Sacrifice
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sven Vollter, Erland Josephson, Allan Edwall (Actors)
  • Andrei Tarkovsky (Director) - Andrei Tarkovsky (Writer) - Anna-Lena Wibom (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)

5. Nostalghia (1983)

Nostalghia is a hauntingly beautiful film that explores themes of nostalgia, memory, and cultural identity.

Directed by the legendary filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, the movie tells the story of a Russian poet named Andrei who travels to Italy to research the life of an18th-century composer.

As he wanders through the Italian countryside, Andrei becomes increasingly disillusioned with modern society and begins to yearn for a sense of spiritual meaning in his life.

The film is visually stunning, with Tarkovsky’s signature long takes and gorgeous cinematography capturing the lush Italian landscapes in breathtaking detail.

The movie’s pacing is deliberate and contemplative, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in Andrei’s emotional journey.

The performances in Nostalghia are also superb, with lead actor Oleg Yankovsky delivering a nuanced and deeply affecting portrayal of a man struggling to find his place in the world.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, adding depth and complexity to the film’s themes.


Nostalghia (English subtitled)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Oleg Yankovskiy, Erland Josephson, Domiziana Giordano (Actors)
  • Andrei Tarkovsky (Director) - Andrei Tarkovsky (Writer) - Daniel Toscan du Plantier (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

6. Solaris (1972)

Solaris is a masterpiece of science fiction cinema that explores the innermost depths of human nature.

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, this film is a haunting and thought-provoking journey into the unknown.

The story follows Kris Kelvin, a psychologist who is sent to a space station orbiting the planet Solaris to investigate strange occurrences among the crew members.

As Kelvin delves deeper into the mystery, he is confronted with his own past and the ghosts that haunt him.

The cinematography in Solaris is breathtaking, with long takes and a slow pace that creates a sense of introspection and contemplation.

The use of color and light is stunning, and the film’s sound design is haunting and ethereal.

The performances are outstanding, particularly that of lead actor Donatas Banionis, who captures the inner turmoil of Kris Kelvin with subtlety and depth.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with each actor bringing a unique perspective to the story.

Solaris is a film that will leave you pondering the mysteries of the universe long after the credits roll.

It is a true masterpiece of science fiction, and a must-watch for anyone interested in the genre.

Solaris (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Natalya Bondarchuk, Juri Jarvet, Donatas Banionis (Actors)
  • Andrei Tarkovsky (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

7. Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

Ivan’s Childhood is a haunting and deeply moving film that explores the devastating effects of war on a young boy.

Director Andrei Tarkovsky showcases his masterful storytelling skills with a beautifully crafted narrative that is both gripping and emotionally charged.

The film follows the story of Ivan, a 12-year-old orphan who has been recruited as a spy by the Soviet army during World War II.

As he navigates through the treacherous landscape of war, Ivan’s childhood innocence is shattered as he witnesses the horrors of death and destruction.

Tarkovsky’s visual style is nothing short of mesmerizing.

The cinematography is breathtaking, with stunning imagery that captures the bleakness and despair of war.

The film is filled with powerful scenes that leave a lasting impression on the viewer, such as the haunting dream sequences that Ivan experiences throughout the film.

The performances in Ivan’s Childhood are exceptional, particularly that of Nikolay Burlyaev who plays Ivan.

His portrayal of a young boy forced to grow up too quickly is heart-wrenching, and he delivers a performance that is both nuanced and powerful.

Ivan's Childhood (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
  • Nikolay Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Yevgeni Zharikov (Actors)
  • Andrei Tarkovsky (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

Characteristics Of Andrei Tarkovsky Films

Andrei Tarkovsky’s films are often described as “slow cinema” because he wanted to create a world of his own.

His films are not meant to be watched quickly, but with patience and attention.

The first characteristic of Andrei Tarkovsky’s work is that it is characterized by long takes.

This means that the camera stays on one place, or moves slowly in a certain direction, for a long time.

The viewer can then see everything that happens in the frame and all details of the environment.

The second characteristic of Andrei Tarkovsky’s work is that it features long periods of silence, or music that is slightly dissonant.

This creates an impression of eeriness and melancholy in some of his films (for example, Solaris).

The third characteristic of Andrei Tarkovsky’s work is that it features slow movements or gestures by characters.


For example, in The Mirror, when Alexey walks through the empty house with his mother and father, he walks slowly and pauses for moments at each step without saying anything; this creates a feeling of loneliness and sadness in him.

Andrei Tarkovsky Films – Wrapping Up

After you’ve watched a Tarkovsky film, it’s hard to look at other movies the same way.

The characters are so real, the settings so vivid and the story so powerful that you’ll start to see all films as mere shadows of their true selves.

The films of Andrei Tarkovsky are all about human beings trapped in time and space.

A man struggles with his place in the world and his relationship with God.

A woman struggles to find meaning in life and love. A child struggles to understand his place in the world, but also his sense of self and who he is.

Tarkovsky was a Russian director who made fewer than 10 films during his lifetime (he died at age 52), but they’re considered some of the greatest films ever made.

His style was very different from Hollywood or even Soviet-era filmmaking, which can be difficult for audiences used to thinking in terms of genres (romance or horror).

But for those willing to give them time, these films can change your life; they’ll make you think about what it means to be alive and what we’re each responsible for doing with our lives.


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