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The Mirror (1975)
"Zerkalo" (original title)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 15,799 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 40 critic

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.

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(as Andrey Tarkovskiy)
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Title: The Mirror (1975)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margarita Terekhova ...
Natalya / Maroussia - the Mother
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
Anatoliy Solonitsyn ...
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
Edit

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially Tarkovsky considered Alla Demidova and Swedish actress Bibi Andersson for the role of the mother. In the end Margarita Terekhova was chosen. 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 ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ring (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Orgelbüchlein - Das alte Jahre vergangen ist - BWV 614
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played during the opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Tarkovsky's enigmatic masterwork.
21 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

I found this film quite difficult to get into since I'm more used to conventional plot driven narratives, a concept that was anathema to Tarkovsky. Certainly the Soviet authorities did their best to limit the venues where this film could be seen, condemning it's personal nature as decadent, self-indulgent and against the formal traditions of Soviet cinema, a cinema which Tarkovsky himself did not have a good word for. Russians who did see it sent many letters to the director saying how much it affected them and mirrored their own childhood experiences. Tarkovsky himself had difficulty in 'finding' his film during production, and originally worried that it would not work. Many critics questioned whether the images were symbolic in some way, but Tarkovsky dismissed symbolism as decadent. He sited Japanese writers of the middle ages rejecting such things. He had no time for surrealism either, pointing out that Dali himself had rejected the concept as facile. And yet the pull of dreams are un-mistakable in this work. Tarkovsky stated that the artist himself does not necessarily know the meaning of an image but is compelled to express his vision.

Despite some of the problems in viewing this film there are plenty of moving and mysterious moments, not least the wistful and melancholic look on the face of the mother as she lays in the grass, contemplating her children's future.


30 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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