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 ...
Oleg Yankovskiy ...
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
Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy ...
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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 March 1975 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

The Mirror  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

RUR 622,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wintertime scenes in the Mirror echo paintings by Pieter Bruegel, "Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap" and "The Hunters in the Snow". See more »

Goofs

During the last scene when the grandmother is accompanying the two children through a field, and the camera backtracks itself into dark woods,on the lower right portion of screen, the gleaming camera tracks are visible for a few seconds. 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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Tops
26 March 2001 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

It's not easy to make such judgments, but this is my favorite film. A personal choice, for sure, but what MIRROR achieves is the height of poetry and literature. Its final moment, if it works for you (and I can imagine it wouldn't for all), is a success of the "method of indirection" sought by poetry. Its effect is cumulative and devastating.

People often stress the difficulty of this film, but my only answer is to allow it to wash over you and allow it to have its effect. The first time I saw it, I was amazed, but a little baffled. The second time I cried. Each time since then I've teared up, if not actually wept. Its presentation, in its last shots, of the totality of the human experience, combined with the Bach's St John Passion, crushes me every time. And I'm not even Russian. Nor am I religious--this is the closest I get to religion. You just have to be human to understand MIRROR. This is the way of all Tarkovsky.


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