Test pilota Pirxa

Pilot Pirxʼs Inquest | Der Test des Piloten Pirx
Commander Pirx is charged with a test flight around Saturn to test new automatic probes for passing through the Cassini Division. Behind the ostensible goal, however, there is another, more sensitive mission. Only some of the five-person crew are human; the others are robots. The true goal is to evaluate whether the androids might soon be capable of replacing their human colleagues on spaceflights. Pirx only realises how volatile the situation is when he narrowly escapes an attempt on his life. During manoeuvres around Saturn, one of the robots causes a near disaster, but after returning to Earth, it is Pirx who faces a legal inquiry ... With unofficial product placement for Pan Am, Lee and McDonald’s, this Polish-Soviet film adaptation of Stanislaw Lem is clearly meant to be set in the Western hemisphere – because only in a capitalist society would the use of humanoid machines to replace human labour be a threatening scenario. Pirx, the cosmonaut in a denim suit, cannot, however, hide his true nature as a skilled dialectician. At the end of the film, the message that stands is that it is precisely human weaknesses that make the race superior to robots.
by Marek Piestrak
with Sergiej Desnitski, Bolesław Abart, Władimir Iwaszow, Aleksandr Kajdanowski, Zbigniew Lesień, Ferdynand Matysik, Igor Przegrodzki, Tonu Saar
Poland / USSR 1979 Polish 99’ Colour


  • Sergiej Desnitski
  • Bolesław Abart
  • Władimir Iwaszow
  • Aleksandr Kajdanowski
  • Zbigniew Lesień
  • Ferdynand Matysik
  • Igor Przegrodzki
  • Tonu Saar


Director Marek Piestrak
Screenplay Marek Piestrak based on stories (1968) by Stanisław Lem
Cinematography Janusz Pawłowski
Editing Roman Kolski
Music Arvo Pärt, Eugeniusz Rudnik
Sound Aleksander Gołębiowski
Production Design Jerzy Śnieżawski, Wiktor Żyłko
Special Effects Aleksander Pastuchow, Andrzej Skoczylas
Costumes Alicja Wasilewska
Make-Up Maria Maziarz, Aita Levoll
Producers Edward Kłosowicz, Karl Levoll

Produced by

PRF Zespoły Filmowe/Tallinnfilm – wytwórnia filmowa

Additional information

Copy: Filmoteka Narodowa, Warschau

Marek Piestrak


Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017