Forbidden Places, Tempting Spaces, and the Politics of Desire

On Stalker and Beyond


Andrey Tarkovsky’s film Stalker, produced in the late 1970s in the now defunct and nearly forgotten Soviet Union, is one of those rare cinematic masterpieces that rattle all our preconceptions about the relationships between politics and art, popular culture and the state, science fiction and international relations. Funded by the Soviet government, yet hailed as a dissident work of art in the West, Stalker defies easy political categorizations. It is neither a perpetuator of existing power relations nor a predictable counter-narrative of the Soviet regime. Instead, the film subverts the science fiction genre to tell a complex and metaphysical story about law, desire, and sovereignty in which characters’ relations toward an extra-juridical space called The Zone form a set of different political subjectivities and different visions of the international system.


International System Science Fiction Aesthetic Experience Political Subjectivity Sovereign Power 
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© Jutta Weldes 2003

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