Kate Gearon’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.”
To Andrei Tarkovsky, art is a symbol of the universe, and film has the responsibility to remind people of their reason for living, the meaning of existence. The metaphysical journey through Tarkovsky’s films present faith as the spiritual solution in a world filled with irreconcilable woes and atrocities; unreciprocated faith in the midst of metaphysical silence, unity through kenotic devotion, love without conditions, and in being your brother’s keeper.
To Tarkovsky, the music of cinema is the resonance of a person’s interior world (sounds that highlight the conditional reality of human life), as well as sounds “that lie within the world itself, what is essential to it and does not depend on us” (Tarkovsky).
In Tarkovsky's 1979 film Stalker, three men--a Stalker, professor, and writer-- go on a dangerous and fantastical journey through a forbidden Zone in search of a room which realizes one’s innermost desires. The Stalker is a man who is paid to guide others to the room, though he himself refuses to utilize its powers for self-fulfillment; he claims his role is of a devoted servant.
The Stalker is enamored by the utter beauty of the Zone, and risks his life each time he enters just so he can be a part of its breathing silence. He tells the writer and professor that the Zone is “the quietest place on earth, there’s nobody to make any noise. You’ll soon see. It’s amazingly beautiful here!”
The Zone is far from being literally silent, rather it’s silence is full and loud, constantly sounding a hum of life. The journey of the three men parallels a sort of spiritual pilgrimage. It is this silence that the Stalker seeks; he completely devotes himself to Zone, for it is this buzzing silence that replenishes his faith and love for the world and all its people.
The sacrificial role of the Stalker mimics Tarkovsky's philosophy and his role as an artist. He is devoted to serving the people, to helping others reach their own truth in the face of spiritual silence, to have faith despite the silence and have faith in the silence.