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.
Poland / USSR 1979
99 min · Colour · 35 mm
Sergiej DesnitskiBolesław AbartWładimir IwaszowAleksandr KajdanowskiZbigniew LesieńFerdynand MatysikIgor PrzegrodzkiTonu Saar
PRF Zespoły Filmowe/Tallinnfilm – wytwórnia filmowaPolish People's Republic
Copy: Filmoteka Narodowa, Warschau