Solntseva began her film career as an actress in Yakov Protazanov's 1924 film Aelita. She continued acting until she married Aleksandr Dovzhenko in 1929. Her last role was in her husband's 1930 film Zemila. She then went on to collaborate in some capacity in all of Dovzhenko's subsequent films, which included his notable documentaries on World War II. While beginning work on his newest film Poema o morie in 1958, Dovzhenko died. His devoted wife then vowed to direct it in his stead stating: 'I must complete this film in accordance with Dovzhenko's artistic conception, putting aside every trace of my own individual vision.' When the resulting film won the Lenin Prize, Solntseva insisted that it be awarded posthumously to her husband. She subsequently made three more films during the '60s remaining faithful to his cinematic and literary style. In 1971, she made a film about Dovzhenko, Zolotie vorota. Only one of her films had nothing to do with her husband: Takiie vysokiie gory (1974), an examination of the problems of modern education. Solntseva has won two awards for her good work: in 1972, she was awarded the Dovzhenko Medal for her patriotic films; in 1975, she won the Golden Lion of St Mark at the Book Exhibition in Venice for her work on the book Zemila.