Ghosts of Past/Graves of Future | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2042-1869
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1877


This video essay explores Tarkovsky’s 1979 sci-fi classic, , through the lens of the philosophical concept of hauntology. Hauntology refers to the potential for dead or dying ideals to return and haunt the cultural ethos of subsequent generations. This essay intersperses scenes from the film with Soviet-era propaganda footage to highlight the visual discord between ’s post-apocalyptic, alternate reality, and the illusory, utopian future the USSR failed to manifest. By melding the two forms of media together, the essay draws a causal line from past to future, and from aspiration to intergenerational trauma.


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  1. Riley, J. A.. “ Hauntology, Ruins, and the Failure of the Future in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker. .” Journal of Film and Video, vol. 69, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1826. doi: 10.5406/jfilmvideo.69.1.0018. Accessed 8 March 2022.
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): ghost; hauntology; ruins; Soviet Union; Stalker; Tarkovsky
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