Solyaris / Solaris (Tarkovsky) - release date in 1971 or 1972?

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I am currently involved in a discussion on another message board about the release date of Andrei Tarkovsky's Solyaris (Solaris), and specifically whether it was first released in 1971 or 1972.

At some time in the past, IMDb did list the film as being from 1972, premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in that year.
And Solaris definitely was shown at Cannes in 1972; see the Cannes web site.

However, the film is now listed by IMDb as having premiered in Moscow on Dec. 30, 1971. Does anyone have evidence that this premiere occurred on that date? 

For what it's worth, Wikipedia (which is not necessarily reliable) says:
The first version of Solaris was completed in December 1971. ... In January 1972, the State Committee for Cinematography requested editorial changes before releasing Solaris. These included a more realistic film with a clearer image of the future and deletion of allusions to God and Christianity. Tarkovsky successfully resisted such major changes, and after a few minor edits Solaris was approved for release in March 1972. ... Solaris premiered at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix Spécial du Jury and was nominated for the Palme d'Or. In the USSR, the film premiered in the Mir film theater in Moscow on February 5, 1973. Tarkovsky did not consider the Mir cinema the best projection venue.
Meanwhile, the book Solaris by Mark Bould says:
Solaris was submitted to the studio on 30 December 1971. ... Tarkovsky ... made some minor cuts ... and Solaris debuted in Moscow on 5 February 1972 before receiving a wide, Category One release on 20 March. Tarkovsky was furious that the premiere was 'at the Peace*, not at the October or the Russia, but the Peace. The bosses don't consider my film good enough for the best screens.'
*Mir in Russian means "peace".

So I have two sources saying that the film did not debut in the USSR in 1971 contrary to IMDb, but saying that the film made its Soviet premiere at the Mir/Peace theater in Moscow on February 5, but in two different years.

Can any contributors or staff provide further insight into the correct year of the film's premiere?
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gromit82, Champion

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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of KV KV


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According to the diaries of Tarkovsky himself (Андрей Тарковский - Мартиролог. Дневники).
December 30, 1971, the film was shown to the Art Council of Mosfilm Studios.
February 5, 1973 premiere in Moscow in cinema «Мир».

According to the archive of the Mosfilm studio (Фильм Андрея Тарковского „Cолярис“: Материалы и документы - Составитель: Дмитрий Салынский), the film got a rolling certificate on May 15, 1972.

P.S. The film was shot in the USSR by a Russian-speaking director - it’s not very reasonable to rely on English-language sources.
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Nick Burfle

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General question: does showing a film to the Art Council, or to government or non-government entities that have censorship/editorial power, qualifiy as a release?  (I have no idea whether the ACMS has editorial power, this question is intended more generally.)
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Jeorj Euler

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Not likely.
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The "Art Council" was the main censor entity for movies those times. After first showing there for a very limited group of people deputed by the government, then the movie could be closed for public or even destroyed completely. 

"Krynytsya dlya sprahlykh" is one of the examples. This masterpiece was ready for release in 1965, but after the censor execution we have watched in 1987.
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gromit82, Champion

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I note that the 30 December 1971 release date for Solaris has been deleted, and thus the film has been reassigned to 1972.

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