perceive the spirit, miracle and God, if they play no constructive role ? They are not required. Man, as a result, just does not see them. But even beyond the realm of dispensability where pure empiricism exists, miracles do occur : in physics. The majority of the greatest physicists today, as is well known, believe in God. I once spoke to the late Soviet physicist. Landau, on this theme.
The place of action : Crimea, the beach, pebbles.
I: 'Do you think God exists ?' Landau, looking at me helplessly, replies,k! think he does.
At that time I was an unknown, sun-tanned boy, the son of the well known poet. Arseny Tarkovsky. In other words, a nobody. That was my first and last meeting with Landau. A chance encounter. The only one of its kind. And perhaps the only moment of frankness by a Soviet Nobel Prize Laureate.
Can man have hopes of survival despite all the obvious symptoms of the apocalyptic silence that is descending on him ? The answer to this question lies perhaps in the ancient parable about the patience required for a dried-up tree devoid of all life juices. This parable I use as the basis of the film—the most important film of my life. The monk. step by step and bucketful by bucketful carried water and watered the dry tree. He did not have the slightest doubt about the necessity of his action. Not for a second did he waver in his belief in the miraculous powers of his faith in the Creator. And for ^his reason he experiences a miracle. One morning the branches of the tree come to life and sprout young leaves. But is it actually a miracle ? No—it is the trjth.
Translated by Kalpana Sahni
And re i Tarkovskv