Stalker (1979) Movie Script

Second Artists' Association
Screenplay by Arkady STRUGATSKY
based upon the story
"Roadside Picnic"
Directed by
Director of Photography
Production Designer
Music by
Verses by F.I. TIUTCHEV
Sound by V. SHARUN
T. Kameneva
"What was it?
A meteorite?
A visit of inhabitants
of the cosmic abyss?
One way or another,
our small country
has seen the birth of a miracle -
the Zone.
We immediately sent troops there.
They haven't come back.
Then we surrounded the Zone
with police cordons...
Perhaps, that was the right thing to
do. Though, I don't know..."
From an interview with Nobel Prize
winner, Professor Wallace.
Why did you take my watch?
Where are you going, I'm asking you?
You gave me your word
and I believed you.
All right, you're not thinking about
yourself, but what about us?
Did you think about your child?
She's just getting used to you,
and you start it again!
You've made an old woman of me.
You've ruined my life.
Not so loud, you'll wake up
I can't wait for you forever.
I'm going to die!
You wanted to start working!
You've been promised
a normal human work!
I'll be back soon.
You'll be back to prison!
Though this time you'll get
ten years, not five!
And for ten years you will have
neither your Zone, nor anything!
And I'll be dead in the meantime.
Oh God, for me it's prison
- Let me go!
- No!
Let go, I said!
And may you rot there!
Be damned the day
when I met you, bastard!
God himself has cursed you
by giving you this child!
And me too, because of you, jerk!
My dear,
our world is hopelessly boring.
Therefore, there can be no telepathy,
or apparitions, or flying saucers,
nothing like that.
The world is ruled by cast-iron laws,
and it's insufferably boring.
Alas, those laws are never violated.
They don't know how to be violated.
So don't even hope for a UFO,
that would have been too interesting.
And how about the Bermuda Triangle?
You're not going to deny...
I am. There is no Bermuda Triangle.
There's only Triangle ABC that equals
Triangle A-prim, B-prim, C-prim.
Do you feel the boredom
contained in this assertion?
To live in the Middle Ages was
Every home had its house-spirit,
and every church had its God.
People were young!
Now every fourth is an old person.
It's so boring, my angel.
But you said that the Zone
was the product of a superior
It must be boring, too,
all those laws, triangles,
and no house spirits,
and no God, that's for certain.
Because if God is also
a triangle,
then I don't know what to think.
It's for me! Great!
Goodbye, my dear friend.
This lady was so kind as to agree
to go with us to the Zone.
She's a very courageous woman.
Her name is...
I beg your pardon, your name is...?
Are you really a stalker?
Wait... I'll explain everything.
What a cretin!
You did get drunk after all.
Me? What do you mean?
I had a drink, like one half
of the population does.
The other half gets drunk.
Including women and children.
I just had a drink though.
Damn it, what a mess here.
Go on, drink. We've got time.
How about a glass for the road?
What do you think?
Take it away.
I see. Dry law.
Alcoholism is a scourge of mankind.
All right, we'll drink beer.
Is he with us?
Never mind, he'll sober up.
He needs to go there, too.
Are you really a professor?
If you don't mind.
Then let me introduce myself.
My name is...
Your name is Writer.
Well. And what is my name?
Yours? Professor.
I see. I'm a writer,
so, naturally, everyone calls me
Writer for some reason.
- And what do you write about?
- About the readers.
Obviously, there's nothing else
one should write about.
One should write about nothing at all.
And what are you? A chemist?
A physicist rather.
That must be boring, too.
Searching for the truth.
It's hiding and you keep searching
for it.
You dig in one place-eureka!
The nucleus is made of protons.
You dig in another-great!
Triangle ABC equals
Triangle A-prim, B-prim, C-prim.
With me it's quite different.
While I am digging for the truth,
so much happens to it
that instead of discovering the truth
I dig up a heap of, pardon...
I'd better not name it.
You're lucky!
But imagine some antique pot
displayed in a museum.
It was used at its time
as a receptacle of food leftovers,
but now it's an object of
universal admiration
for its laconic pattern
and unique form.
Everyone goes oh! and ah!
And suddenly it turns out
that it's not antique at all,
that some joker has palmed it off
on the archeologists
just for fun.
Strange as it may seem, the admiration
dies off. Those connoisseurs...
Is it what you think about
all the time?
God forbid!
In fact, I don't think much.
It's not good for me.
It's impossible to write, thinking
all the time of success or failure.
Naturlich! But if no one is going
to read me in one hundred years,
why the hell should I write at all?
Tell me, Professor, why did you let
yourself be mixed up in all this?
What do you need the Zone for?
I'm a scientist in some sense.
But what do you need it for?
You're an "in" writer.
Women must be running after you
in flocks.
My inspiration has been lost,
Professor. I go begging for it.
Have you been used up?
Yes, I guess, in a way.
Do you hear it? Our train.
- Have you taken the roof off the car?
- Yes, I have.
Luger, if I don't come back,
call on my wife.
Damn it, I forgot to buy cigarettes.
Don't go back.
- Why?
- You must not.
- You're all like this.
- Like what?
Believing such nonsense.
Well, I'd better leave it for a rainy
Are you really a scientist?
Don't move!
Go and look, is there anyone there?
Move it, for God's sake!
There's no one there.
Go to the other exit.
Where on earth did you look, Writer?
- You didn't forget the jerry can?
- No. It's full.
Everything I told you before...
is a lie.
I don't give a damn about inspiration.
How would I know
the right word for what I want?
How would I know that actually
I don't want what I want?
Or that I actually don't want
what I don't want?
They are elusive things:
the moment we name them,
their meaning disappears,
melts, dissolves
like a jellyfish in the sun.
My conscience wants vegetarianism
to win over the world.
And my subconscious is yearning
for a piece of juicy meat.
But what do I want?
World domination.
Why a diesel locomotive in the Zone?
It services the outpost.
It won't go any farther.
They don't like going there.
Take your places!
Everybody here?
The guards have arrived.
Tell them to turn the TV off.
Go look if there's a trolley
on the tracks.
What trolley?
Go back, I'll do it.
The jerry can!
Give it to me!
Get rid of your knapsack,
it's hampering you.
You may travel light, if you wish,
as if going for a stroll.
If someone gets hit,
don't shout or rush about.
If they see you, they'll kill you.
When everything settles down,
crawl back to the outpost.
They'll pick you up in the morning.
Can they catch up with us?
They fear it like the plague.
Fear what?
Here we are... home, at last.
How quiet it is.
This is the quietest place in
the world. You'll see for yourselves.
So beautiful here.
Not a single soul here.
What about us?
Three men can't spoil the place
in one day.
Why? They can.
It's strange that flowers don't
smell. Or have I...
Do you feel anything?
I feel the stench of the bog.
No, that's the river. There's a river
There was a flower-bed nearby,
but Porcupine had trampled it down.
The smell lingered
for many years though.
Why did he do it?
I don't know.
I asked him why, too.
And he said:
"You'll understand later."
I think he just came to hate the Zone.
Porcupine, that's his name?
A nickname, like yours.
He had been taking people to the Zone
for years, and no one could stop him.
He was my teacher.
He opened my eyes.
He was called Teacher then,
not Porcupine.
Then something happened to him,
something broke in him.
Though I think
he was punished.
Will you help me? Tie those strips
of bandage to the nuts.
And I... will go for a walk.
I need to do something...
Don't go anywhere.
Where's he going?
He wants to be alone, I guess.
Why? Even with the three of us
together, I feel weird.
A date with the Zone.
He's a stalker.
And what does that mean?
You see, being a stalker
is some sort of calling.
- I thought he'd be different.
- Like what?
Well, you know, the Leather Stockings,
Chingachgook sort of things...
His background is even more frightful.
Several times in prison,
then he was harmed here.
He has a mutant daughter,
"a victim of the Zone" as they call it.
They say she's got no legs.
And what about this Porcupine?
What does it mean, "was punished"?
Or was it just a figure of speech?
One day Porcupine returned from here
and got rich overnight.
Fabulously rich.
You call it punishment?
A week later he hanged himself.
What was that?
Presumably a meteorite fell down
here about twenty years ago.
It had burned down the settlement.
They searched for this meteorite,
but never found it, of course.
Why "of course"?
Then people began disappearing here.
They came here and never returned.
So it was concluded...
that this meteorite
was not really a meteorite.
At first...
they circled the place with barbed
wire to scare off the inquisitive.
All this gave rise to rumours
that there's a place in the Zone...
where wishes come true.
Naturally, they began to guard
the Zone like the apple of their eye.
Who knows what kind of wish
someone might cherish.
What was it if not a meteorite?
I told you, no one knows.
And what do you think?
Or anything.
A message to mankind,
as one of my colleagues says.
Or a gift.
Some gift.
Why on earth would they do it?
To make us happy.
The flowers are blooming again,
but they don't smell for some reason.
Sorry for leaving you two here,
but it was too early to go anyway.
Did you hear it?
Maybe someone lives here?
You told me yourself
about some tourists camped here
when the Zone originated.
There's no one in the Zone and
there can't be.
Well, it's time.
How are we going to return?
- They don't return here.
- What do you mean?
We'll go as we agreed.
I'll show the direction.
Any deviation from it is dangerous.
The first landmark is that last pole.
You go first, Professor.
Now you.
Try to follow in his footsteps.
Oh, my God! And where are...
Did they remain here like that?
Those people?
Who knows.
I remember them packing at the station,
getting ready to come here.
I was just a boy.
We all thought then
that somebody wanted to conquer us.
You first, Professor.
Now you, Writer.
Your room is over there.
We'll go this way.
Why were you hiking up the price?
It's so close at hand.
Yes, but the hand
has to be very long.
We don't have such a hand.
Don't! Leave it alone!
Don't touch it!
Don't touch it, I said!
Are you crazy? What's the matter
with you?
It's not the place for leisurely
The Zone wants to be respected.
Otherwise it will punish.
Don't you ever try it again...
Have you no tongue or what?
I warned you, didn't I?
Are we to go there?
Yes. Up, enter it and to the left.
Only we are not going this way.
We'll go around.
People don't go this way.
In the Zone, the longer way,
the less risk.
And to go straight ahead is fatal?
He told you it's dangerous.
- And making a detour's not dangerous?
- It is. But they don't go this way.
What do I care that they don't?
What if I take a chance...
Listen, what's the matter with you...
To go all the way around!
When everything's so close.
Here a risk, there a risk.
What the hell!
You're being very flippant
about this.
I'm fed up with all those nuts
and bandages.
You may do as you wish,
but I'm going.
- You're insane.
- It's you who are...
May I?
The wind is coming up...
Can you feel it? The grass...
All the more so.
What do you mean?
Keep your hands off!
Professor be my witness,
I didn't sent you there.
You go of your own will.
Of my own will. What else?
Nothing. Go.
God help you to be lucky.
Should you notice something,
or just feel something,
go back at once, or...
Just don't throw iron poles at me.
Stop! Don't move!
- Why did you do it?
- Why did I do what?
- Why did you stop him?
- I thought it was you...
What's up?
Why did you stop me?
I didn't stop you.
Who did it then? You?
Who the hell knows...
You're smart, Mister Shakespeare.
To go straight ahead is scary,
to go back is embarrassing.
So you gave yourself a command.
Fear has made you come to your senses.
- What?
- Stop it.
- Why have you emptied the bottle?
- Stop it, I said!
The Zone is a very complicated system...
of traps,
and they're all deadly.
I don't know what's going on here
in the absence of people,
but the moment someone shows up,
everything comes into motion.
Old traps disappear
and new ones emerge.
Safe spots
become impassable.
Now your path is easy,
now it's hopelessly involved.
That's the Zone.
It may even seem capricious.
But it is what we've made it
with our condition.
It happened that people had
to stop halfway and go back.
Some of them even died
on the very threshold of the room.
But everything that's going on here
depends not on the Zone, but on us!
So it lets the good ones pass
and kills the bad ones?
I don't know.
I think
it lets those pass who...
have lost all hope.
Not good or bad,
but wretched people.
But even the most wretched will die
if they don't know how to behave.
You have been lucky,
it just warned you.
I guess I'll wait for you here
until you come back,
made happy.
It's impossible!
I've got sandwiches, a thermos...
You won't last even an hour here
without me.
Besides, one doesn't return here
the way one comes.
Anyway, I would prefer...
Then we're going back right away.
I'll return your money
minus a certain sum
for the trouble, so to speak...
Have you come to your senses,
All right. Go on, throw your nut.
Part Two
Where are you?
Come here!
Are you tired?
Oh, God!
Judging by his tone, he's going to
start sermonizing again.
Let everything that's been planned
come true.
Let them believe.
And let them have a laugh
at their passions.
Because what they call passion
actually is not some emotional energy,
but just the friction between
their souls and the outside world.
And most important,
let them believe in themselves
let them be helpless like children,
because weakness is a great thing,
and strength is nothing.
When a man is just born,
he is weak and flexible,
when he dies,
he is hard and insensitive.
When a tree is growing,
it's tender and pliant,
but when it's dry and hard,
it dies.
Hardness and strength
are death's companions.
Pliancy and weakness are
expressions of the freshness of being.
Because what has hardened
will never win.
Come here!
We're progressing well.
Soon we'll come to a dry tunnel,
after that it will get easier.
Knock on wood.
- Are we on our way already?
- Of course. Why?
I thought you just wanted
to show us something.
- What about my knapsack?
- What about it?
I left it there.
I didn't know we were going.
- There's nothing we can do about it.
- No, we have to go back.
- It's impossible!
- I can't do without my knapsack!
Can't you understand that no one here
has ever come back the same way?
Forget about your knapsack.
What have you got there, diamonds?
The room will give you
anything you want.
Really. It will drown you
in knapsacks.
How far is it, this room?
If you go straight, about 200 meters,
but there's no going straight here.
Let's go.
Give up your empiricism, Professor.
Miracles are outside empiricism.
Remember how St. Peter
was nearly drowned?
Go, Writer.
Go where?
Up these stairs.
Professor, where are you?
Here is the dry tunnel!
You call it dry?
This is a local joke.
Normally one has to swim here.
Wait, where's Professor?
- What?
- Professor has disappeared!
How could it happen?
He was following you all the way.
He probably lagged behind and
lost his way.
No, he didn't lose his way!
He must've gone for the knapsack!
He won't be able to make it now.
Shall we wait for him?
We can't. Things change here
every minute. We'll have to go.
Look! What is it? How could it be?
- I already explained.
- What did you explain?
It's the Zone, don't you understand?
Let's go, quick. It's...
There he is!
I'm certainly grateful to you
that you... but...
How did you get here?
Mostly I had to crawl up here
on my fours.
How did you manage to overtake us?
What do you mean, "overtake"?
I came back here for the knapsack.
And how has our nut gotten here?
Oh, my God, that's...
the trap!
Porcupine put this nut here
on purpose.
How could the Zone let us through?
Oh God, I'm not going
to take one more step until...
I don't like it.
That's it! We rest!
But keep off this nut,
just in case.
Sorry, but I thought that
Professor won't be able to make it.
You see, I...
I never know beforehand what kind
of people I'm taking with me.
Everything gets clear only here,
when it's too late.
What's important is that Professor's
bag with his underwear is safe.
Don't stick your nose in someone's
underwear if you don't understand it.
What is there to understand?
Binomial theorem?
Some psychological abysses!
You have a bad reputation
at your institute.
They don't give you money
for an expedition.
So you decide to pack a knapsack
full of manometers and other shit...
penetrate the Zone illegally...
and put all these miracles
to an algebra test.
No one in the world
has ever heard of the Zone.
So we'll work a sure sensation!
The television, fans raving
and bringing laurel wreaths.
Here our Professor appears,
all in white,
and declares:
"Mene-mene, tekel, uprasin."
Everyone gaping
and shouting:
"He deserves a Nobel Prize!"
You lousy scribbler,
a homespun psychoanalyst.
You're only good for painting walls
in public toilets, you blabbermouth.
No good. Too sluggish.
You don't know how to do it.
All right. I'm going to get
a Nobel Prize.
And what are you after?
Want to bless mankind
with the pearls
of your purchased inspiration?
I don't care a damn about mankind.
Of all your mankind
I'm interested
only in one man-myself.
Whether I'm worth anything
or I'm just shit like others.
And if you find out
that you're really...
You know, Mr. Einstein,
I have no wish to argue with you.
Truth is born of argument,
damn it!
Listen, Chingachgook...
You've brought here
many people.
Not as many as I would like.
That's not the point. Why did they
come here? What did they want?
Happiness, I guess.
Yes, but what kind of happiness?
People don't like to speak about
their innermost feelings.
And it's neither yours
nor mine business.
In any case, you've been lucky.
As for me, I haven't seen
one happy man in my life.
Me neither.
They return from the room
and I lead them back,
and we never see each other again.
It's not that wishes come true
Have you ever wished
to use this room yourself?
I'm fine as I am.
Listen, Professor.
Speaking of the purchased inspiration.
Let's imagine that I enter this room
and return to our God-forsaken
town a genius.
A man writes because he's tormented,
because he doubts.
He needs to constantly prove
to himself and the others
that he's worth something.
And if I know for sure
that I'm a genius?
Why write then?
What the hell for?
Well, I must say
that we exist for...
Will you be so kind
and leave me alone?
Let me get a wink,
I haven't slept all night.
Keep your complexes to yourself.
In any case,
all this technology of yours...
all those blast furnaces, wheels...
and other bullshit
are only designed in order
to work less and eat more.
They are all just crutches,
artificial limbs.
And mankind exists
in order to create...
works of art.
Unlike all other human activities,
this one is unselfish.
Great illusions!
Images of the absolute truth!
Are you listening to me, Professor?
What unselfishness are you talking
People still die of hunger.
Have you fallen from the moon?
And they are considered to be
our brainy aristocracy!
You're not even capable of thinking
in abstractions.
Are you going to teach me
about the meaning of life?
And also how to think?
It's useless. You might be
a professor, but an ignorant one.
And there was
a great earthquake.
And the sun became black
as sackcloth made of hair.
And the moon became like blood...
And the stars of the sky
fell to the earth,
as a fig tree casts
its unripe figs
when shaken by a great wind.
And the sky was split apart
like a scroll when it is rolled up.
And every mountain and island
were moved out of their places.
And the kings of the earth and
the great men
and the rich and the chiliarchs
and the strong and every free man,
hid themselves in the caves
and among the rocks of the mountains;
and they said to the mountains and
to the rocks, "Fall on us
and hide us from the presence of
Him who sits on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb,
for the great day of His wrath
has come,
and who is able to stand?"
And that very day two...
two of them...
were going to a village
which was about 60 stadia from...
and they were conversing with each
other about all these things.
And while they were conversing
and discussing...
He Himself approached,
and began travelling with them.
But their eyes were prevented
from recognizing Him.
And He said to them:
"What are these words...
you are exchanging with one another,
and why are you sad?"
And one of them, named...
Are you awake?
You were speaking of the meaning...
of our... life...
of the unselfishness of art...
Take music, for instance.
Less than anything else,
it is connected to reality,
or if connected at all, it's done
mechanically, not by way of ideas,
just by a sheer sound, devoid of...
any associations.
And yet, music, as if by some miracle,
gets through to our heart.
What is it that resonates in us in
response to noise brought to harmony,
making it the source
of the greatest delight
which stuns us and brings us
What's all this needed for?
And most important, who needs it?
You would say,
"No one. And for no reason."
I don't think so.
After all,
everything has some sense.
Sense and reason.
Do we have to go there?
Unfortunately, yes.
There's no other way.
It looks morbid, don't you think,
I don't feel like going there first.
And Chingachgooks
can never be volunteers.
I think we'll have to draw lots.
Do you mind?
For this, I would rather have
a volunteer.
Have you got matches?
The long one will go.
Pull it.
The long one.
No luck this time.
Why don't you throw one of your nuts
at least?
Sure. As you wish.
One more?
All right... I'll go.
Hurry up, Professor!
There's... There's a door here!
Go that way!
Open the door and go in!
Me again?
Do I have to go in first again?
You've drawn the lot.
Go! People don't wait here.
What have you got there?
No guns here!
You'll have yourself killed,
and us too!
Don't you remember the tanks?
Drop it, I beg you.
Don't you understand?
If something happens,
I can save you, but not this way...
I beg you!
Who are you going to fire at?
Go, we haven't got much time!
There's water here!
Hold on to the handrail and go down.
But don't go anywhere!
Wait for us outside!
I hope you haven't got anything
like that?
- Like what?
- Like a gun.
No. As a last resort
I've got an ampule.
- What ampule?
- Implanted ampule. Poison!
Oh, God! Did you come here to die?
No, it's just in case.
Writer! Come back!
Come back! You want to get yourself
I told you to wait by the exit!
Stop! Don't move!
That's all your pipe.
- Why?
- You should've gone in there first.
He was so scared that he went
the wrong way.
One more experiment.
Experiments, facts,
truth of the highest instance.
There's no such thing as facts.
Especially here.
All this is someone's
idiotic invention.
Don't you feel it?
But you, of course, must find out
whose invention it is.
And why.
What good can your knowledge do?
Who is going to get guilty conscience
because of it? Me?
I've got no conscience.
I just got nerves.
Some bastard would criticize me,
I get wounded.
Another would loud me,
I get wounded again.
I would put my heart and soul in it,
they gobble up both my heart and soul.
I would relieve my soul of filth,
they gobble it up too.
They're all so literate.
They all got sensory deficiency.
And they're all swarming around,
editors, critics,
some endless broads.
And they all demand:
more, more!
What hell of a writer am I
if I hate writing?
If it's constant torment for me,
a painful, shameful occupation,
sort of squeezing out a hemorrhoids.
I used to think that someone would
get better because of my books.
No, nobody needs me!
In two days after I die they'll start
gobbling up someone else.
I wanted to change them,
but it's they who've changed me.
Making me in their own image.
The future used to be just
a continuation of the present,
with all the changes looming far
behind the horizon.
Now the future and the present
are one.
Are they ready for it?
They don't want to know anything!
All they know is how to gobble!
Gosh, how lucky you are!
My goodness, now...
You're going to live a hundred years!
Yes. But why not forever?
Like the eternal Jew.
You are probably a fine man.
I almost didn't doubt it.
I can imagine what torture it was
for you being in there.
This pipe is a horrible place!
The most horrible in the Zone!
It's called "the meat mincer",
but it's much worse than any mincer.
So many people perished there!
Porcupine sent his brother
to die there.
The boy was so delicate,
very talented.
Here, listen to this.
So summer is gone,
Leaving no epitaph.
It's still warm in the sun,
Only that's not enough.
All that true could have come,
Like a five-fingered fluff,
Folded into my palm,
Only that's not enough.
No evil was slighted
In the good aftermath,
World was festively lighted,
Only that's not enough.
Life forever was tucking,
Caring, making me laugh.
I was really lucky,
Only that's not enough.
No leaves ever seared,
No limbs broken rough.
Day, like glass, washed all clear,
Only that's not enough.
Good, aren't they?
That's his verses.
Why do you fidget?
Fussing all the time?
- I'm just...
- I get sick just looking at you!
I'm so happy! It's not often that
everyone who goes makes it.
You did everything right.
You're good, kind, honest people.
I'm proud that I was right about you.
Look at him! He's happy
that everything ended well!
Fate! Zone!
I'm a fine man, he says!
You think I didn't see how you
shoved the two long matches at me?
- No, you don't understand...
- Of course, how could I?
I'm sorry, Professor,
no offense meant,
but this jerk has chosen you
to be his favorite.
Come on, it's unfair!
And me, a second-rate creature,
he shoves into that pipe!
Meat mincer! To think of such
a word!
What right have you got to decide
who is to live and
who is to go into the meat mincer?
You've chosen it yourself!
What? One long match out of the two
long ones?
The matches are nothing.
The Zone had let you through
earlier, under the nut,
so it became clear that only you
could go through the meat mincer.
And we just followed you.
Well, it's too much...
You can't even imagine how dangerous
it is to make a mistake here.
But someone had to be first!
Yes? No, it's not a clinic!
You see, someone has to go first!
Don't touch it!
Laboratory nine, please.
Just a minute.
- Hello?
- I hope I'm not disturbing you.
- What do you want?
- Just a few words with you.
You've hidden it. I've found it.
The old building. Bunker four.
Do you hear me?
I'm alerting the security
You may do it.
You may inform on me,
you may set my colleagues against me,
but it's too late.
I'm now at a stone's throw
from that place.
Do you realize that's the end of you
as a scientist?
Well, you may rejoice!
Do you realize what will happen
if you dare?
Trying to scare me again?
All my life I've been afraid of
something. Even of you.
But now I'm not afraid of anything,
I assure you.
Oh God, you are not even
a Herostratos.
It's just that you've always wanted
to make my life unbearable
because twenty years ago
I slept with your wife.
And now you're delighted
that you've made even with me.
Well, go and do your...
vile thing.
Don't you dare hang up on me!
Prison is not the worst thing
expecting you.
The worst is that you'll never be
able to forgive yourself for this.
I already see you hanging from your
suspenders in your prison cell.
What are you up to, Professor?
Do you realize what will happen
when everybody believes in the room?
And all come rushing here?
It's only a question of time.
If not today, then tomorrow!
And not just tens of them, thousands!
Unfulfilled emperors,
great inquisitors, fuhrers,
self-appointed benefactors
of the human race!
And they'll come not for money or
inspiration, but to change the world!
I never take here people like that.
You think I don't understand it?
What on earth can you understand?
You're not the only stalker
on Earth.
No stalker can know
what those you lead bring with them
and what they take from here.
And the number of unmotivated
crimes is on the rise!
Isn't that your doing?
Take coups d'etat by the military,
or the mafia penetrating governments,
aren't they all your clients?
Or lasers and all those
all that filth, kept for the time being
in safes?
Will you please stop this
sociological diarrhea?
Can you really believe
in all those fairy tales?
Not in the good ones, no!
But in the bad ones, certainly!
Come on!
A human being is not capable
of such hatred or love...
that would extend over
the whole of mankind.
Well, money, a woman,
maybe a desire for revenge,
let my boss be overrun by a car,
that I can understand.
But ruling over the world!
A just society!
God's kingdom on earth!
These are not just wishes,
this is ideology, action, concepts.
Unconscious compassion
is not ready for realization yet.
As a regular
instinctive impulse.
There cannot be happiness
at someone else's expense.
I can see quite clearly now
that you plan to overwhelm
mankind with good deeds.
As for me, I'm not a bit worried
about you or myself,
and least of all about mankind.
Because you're not going
to achieve anything.
At best you'll get your Nobel Prize.
Or rather you'll get something
absolutely incongruous,
something you don't even think about.
Something like this telephone...
You dream of one thing,
but you get quite another.
Why did you do that?
Telephone... electricity...
Look, very good sleeping pills.
They don't make ones like that any
longer. Why so many of them here?
Maybe we'd better be going?
It will be dark soon,
difficult to come back.
By the way, it's absolutely clear
to me
that all this poem reciting
and making detours
is just a form of apologizing.
I can understand you.
Difficult childhood, bad environment...
But don't have any illusions,
I'm not going to forgive you.
Will you please stop it,
do me a favor.
Professor, come here, please.
Wait a minute.
Don't be in a hurry.
I'm in no hurry whatsoever.
I know, you're going to get mad.
Anyway, I must tell you...
We are now...
on the threshold...
This is the most important moment
in your life.
You must know that...
Your innermost wishes
will be made real here.
Your most sincere wish!
Born of suffering!
No need to say anything.
You just have to...
and try to recall your whole life.
When a man thinks of the past,
he becomes kinder.
And most important...
Most important...
You have to believe!
Now you can go.
Who wants to be the first?
Maybe, you?
Me? No, I don't want to.
I understand, it's not easy,
but it will pass.
I doubt...
that it will pass.
If I begin recalling my life,
it's very unlikely I'll get any kinder.
Besides, don't you feel
how shameful the whole thing is?
Humiliating yourself,
sniveling, praying?
What's so bad in praying?
It's just your pride speaking.
Calm down, you're not ready yet.
It happens quite often.
Maybe, you first?
Yes, me.
We see before us
Professor's new invention!
An appliance exploring human souls!
It's only a bomb.
You must be kidding.
No, it's just a bomb.
Twenty kilotons.
What for?
We had it assembled with my friends.
With my former colleagues.
This place will never bring any
happiness to anyone.
But if this thing gets into the wrong
Though, I'm not sure any more.
We came to the conclusion then...
that we shouldn't destroy the Zone
after all.
Even if it's some miracle,
it's still part of nature,
and therefore, a hope in a sense.
They had hidden that bomb,
and I've found it.
The old building, bunker four.
I guess there must be a principle...
Never do anything
that can't be undone.
I understand everything, I'm not some
But as long as this plague lies
in the open, accessible to any scum,
I can get no peace, no sleep.
Or maybe, my innermost
won't let me do it?
Poor man, some problem
he's invented for himself.
Give it to me!
Give it to me!
You're a civilized man, aren't you?
- Why? What's the matter with you?
- You, lousy hypocrite...
What have I done... to you?
He wants to destroy your hope!
That's all people have got left
on this earth!
It's the only place
they can come to,
if there's no hope left for them.
You yourself have come here!
Why destroy hope then?
Shut up!
I can see through you!
You don't give a damn about people!
You just make money,
using our... anguish!
It's not even the money.
You're enjoying yourself here.
You're like God Almighty here.
You, a hypocritical louse, decide
who is to live and who is to die.
He deliberates!
Now I see why you stalkers
never enter the room yourselves.
You revel in all that power,
that mystery, your authority!
What else is there to wish for?
It's not true!
You... you're mistaken.
A stalker must not enter the room.
A stalker must not even enter
the Zone with an ulterior motive.
Remember Porcupine?
Yes, you're right, I'm a louse.
I haven't done any good in this world,
and I can't do any.
I couldn't give anything
even to my wife.
I can't have any friends either.
But don't take mine from me!
They'd already taken everything from
me back there, behind the barbed wire.
So all that's mine is here.
You understand? Here! In the Zone!
My happiness, my freedom,
my self-respect, it's all here!
I bring here people like me,
desperate and tormented.
People who have nothing else
to hope for.
And I can help them!
No one else can help them,
only I, the louse, can!
I'm so happy to be able to help them
that I want to cry.
And that's all.
I don't want anything more.
I don't know. Maybe.
Anyway, excuse me, but...
You're just a God's fool.
You have no idea
what's going on here.
Why do you think Porcupine
hanged himself?
He came to the Zone
with a mercenary motive.
He made his brother die
in the meat mincer because of money.
I know.
But why did he hang himself?
Why didn't he come here again,
not for money, but for his brother?
In way of repenting.
He wanted to... I don't know.
He hanged himself a week later.
Because he realized that
not just any wish comes true here,
but only your innermost wish.
Not what would you holler
at the top of your voice...
Coming true here is
only what's in line with your nature,
with your essence,
of which you know nothing.
But it's there, in you,
directing you all your life.
You didn't understand anything,
Leather Stocking.
It wasn't greed that had done
Porcupine in.
He was crawling in this puddle,
begging to bring his brother back.
But what he got was only money,
and he couldn't get anything else,
because render unto Porcupine
the things that are Porcupine's!
And things like conscience, anguish,
they are just inventions.
He realized that and hanged himself.
I'm not going to your room.
I have no wish to pour my filth
over somebody's head.
Even yours.
And then to put my neck into
the noose, like Porcupine.
I'd rather drink myself to death
in my mansion, in peace and quiet.
You don't understand anything
about human beings, Chingachgook,
if you take to the Zone
people like me.
And something else...
Why do you think that this miracle
really exists?
Who told you that wishes
actually come true here?
Have you seen a single man
who's been made happy here?
Was it Porcupine?
As a matter of fact,
who told you about the Zone,
about Porcupine, about that room?
He did.
Then it makes no sense to me at all.
What's the use coming here?
It's so quiet...
Can you feel it?
What the heck... Why not chuck it all,
take my wife, Monkey,
and move over here.
For good.
There's no one here.
No one can hurt them here.
So you're back.
Where did you get this?
He got attached to me.
I couldn't leave him there.
Well, shall we go?
Monkey is waiting.
Are you coming?
Does any one of you need a dog?
I've got five of them at home.
So you love dogs, don't you?
That's very good.
All right, let's go.
You can't even imagine
how tired I am!
God only knows!
Calling themselves intellectuals,
those writers and scientists!
Don't get so excited.
They don't believe in anything!
They've got the organ with which one
believes atrophied for lack of use.
Stop it. Come on.
Go to bed. Don't lie here...
It's too damp here for you...
You shouldn't lie here.
Take it off.
Oh God, what people...
Calm down, it's not their fault.
You ought to pity them,
not to be angry with them.
Haven't you seen them? They've
got empty eyes.
The only thing
they can think about
is how to sell themselves
not too cheap!
How to get as much as possible
for their every emotional movement!
They know they were "born for
a purpose", "called upon"!
After all, they live "only once"!
Can people like that
believe in anything?
Stop it, calm down.
Try to sleep, will you?
Go to sleep.
And nobody believes.
Not only those two. Nobody!
Who am I going to take there?
Oh, God...
And what's most awful...
is that no one needs it.
No one needs that room.
And all my efforts are just in vain.
Why do you say that?
Stop it.
I'm not going there with anybody
Do you want me to go with you?
You think I've got nothing
to ask for?
You can't go there.
Why not?
No, no.
What if it wouldn't work
with you, either?
You know, my mother was against it.
You've probably noticed already
that he's not of this world.
All our neighborhood laughed at him.
He was such a bungler,
he looked so pitiful.
My mother used to say:
"He's a stalker,
he's doomed,
he's an eternal prisoner!
Don't you know what kind of
children the stalkers have?"
And I... I didn't even argue with her.
I knew it all myself,
that he was doomed,
that he was an eternal prisoner,
and about the children.
Only what could I do?
I was sure
I would be happy with him.
Of course, I knew I'd have a lot of
sorrow, too.
But it's better to have
a bitter happiness than...
a gray, dull life.
I thought it all up later.
But then he approached me and said:
"Come with me."
And I did,
and never regretted it.
We had a lot of sorrow,
a lot of fear, and a lot of shame.
But I never regretted it,
and I never envied anyone.
It's just our fate, our life,
that's how we are.
And if we haven't had our misfortunes,
we wouldn't have been better off.
It would have been worse.
Because in that case, there wouldn't
have been any happiness.
And there wouldn't have been
any hope.
I love your eyes, my darling friend,
Their play, so passionate and
When a sudden stare up you send,
And like a heaven-blown lightning,
It'd take in all from end to end.
But there's more that I admire:
Your eyes when they're downcast
In bursts of love-inspired fire,
And through the eyelash goes fast
A somber, dull call of desire...
The End