Ikarie XB 1

Film Streams Omaha, NE


Mark Strahle

Education Director, Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum

Ikarie XB 1— [ONLINE] Space exploration: Where science, culture, and imagination combine

Space historian Mark Strahle examines the intersection of art, politics, and space science in Ikarie XB 1, giving historical context for the film's utopian futurism.

Film Streams Omaha, NE

Film Synopsis

In 2163, the starship Ikarie XB 1 embarks on a journey to search for life on other planets around Alpha Centauri.

A visionary work of Eastern Bloc science fiction, this mesmerizing Czechoslovak adaptation of a novel by Stanisław Lem melds Cold War ideology and utopian futurism into a tour de force of space-age modernism. In the year 2163, a band of astronauts embarks on a fifteen-year voyage deep into outer space, in hopes of discovering life in another galaxy. It’s a perilous journey during which they will confront the wreckage of the twentieth century, the chilling vastness of the cosmos, and their own mortality. A triumph of avant-garde production design that served as a model for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ikarie XB 1—long known internationally only through a mangled and dubbed reedit—is a singular sci-fi landmark that finds both terror and wonder in the unknown. [Janus Films]

Banner image courtesy of Janus Films