8.2/10
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The Mirror (1975)

Zerkalo (original title)
A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.

Director:

(as Andrey Tarkovskiy)

Writers:

(as A. Misharin), (as Andrey Tarkovskiy)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margarita Terekhova ...
...
The Father
Filipp Yankovskiy ...
Aleksei - Five Years Old
Ignat Daniltsev ...
Ignat / Aleksei - twelve years old
Nikolay Grinko ...
Printery Director
Alla Demidova ...
Lisa
Yuriy Nazarov ...
Military trainer
...
Forensic doctor
Larisa Tarkovskaya ...
Nadezha - Mother of twelve-year-old Alexei
Tamara Ogorodnikova ...
Nanny / Neighbour / Strange woman at the tea table
Yuri Sventisov ...
Yuri Zhary
Tamara Reshetnikova
...
Aleksei (voice)
Arseniy Tarkovskiy ...
Father (voice)
E. Del Bosque ...
A Spaniard
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Storyline

Tarkovsky mixes flash-backs, historical footage and original poetry to illustrate the reminiscences of a dying man about his childhood during World War II, adolescence, and a painful divorce in his family. The story interweaves reflections about Russian history and society. Written by <xaviermartin@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

7 March 1975 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

The Mirror  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

RUR 622,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene, in which stutterer Yuri Zhary is being hypnotized, a shadow of the boom mic is prominently visible on the wall behind him. However, because this is clearly supposed to be a recreation of a TV broadcast, it appears to be a intentional error. See more »

Quotes

Father: It seems to make me return to the place, poignantly dear to my heart, where my grandfathers house used to be in which i was born 40 years ago right on the dinner table. Each time i try to enter it, something prevents me from doing that. I see this dream again and again. And when i see those walls made of logs and the dark entrence, even in my dream i become aware that I'm only dreaming it. And the overwhelming joy is clouded by anticipation of awakening. At times something happens and i stop ...
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Soundtracks

Orgelbüchlein - Das alte Jahre vergangen ist - BWV 614
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played during the opening credits
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Reflections Reflections Reflections
3 September 2002 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Spoilers herein.

Many films allow one immediate response; you know while watching how effective it is and at the end are geared for talking or writing about what you have just seen.

Others, you need to spend time with. This -- I am guessing here -- is because the truly great so lead our imagination that we need to heal or grow after the experience and only then assess what has happened. Surely when you are in this film, you know something special is going on: there are some true transcendences of the eye; very dimensional, surprising. Just as you have established the field of vision and registered the one thing you expect to see, the camera moves in an unexpected manner to reveal either a completely extra or contradictory reality.

Those moments thrill, but confuse at the same time because in lesser hands, this would be an excuse for noodling about with the 'story' in a superficially artsy-fartsy manner. Only after some time can you evaluate how effectively this might have slipped between the sheets of your minds. It is a matter of some interest to me how this happens when it does. Is it a matter of the artist knowing us better than we do ourselves and slipping into our dreams unawares? Or is a matter of creating an attractive castle that we are drawn to and inhabit?

Generally, when an artist is called 'personal,' it is thought to be the latter. But in this case, I think most of what he has done is find that universal manner of overlapping and merging that underlies the visual memory of us all. What confuses is the Soviet environment: the intensely uncoordinated industrial environment and the once fine but now dilapidated urban residences. They transport us to a different place: the unfamiliar described in a familiar way.

Surely this is not what he intended: he didn't make this for a comfortable American/European. And if not made just for himself it was for people who shared the same world. So at least as far as the content, we are attracted to an unfamiliar castle. But so far as the 'personal' form, I think he has found something strangely cosmic. This may be the best film (with Rublev) of one of the three most important filmmakers in history.

Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 4: Every visually literate person should experience this.


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