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The Mirror (1975) More at IMDbPro »Zerkalo (original title)

The Mirror -- Andrei Tarkovsky takes a moving and personal turn with this striking meditation on life in Russia during the bleak days of WW II. THE MIRROR is not just the display of a film director at the peak of his unique power, it tells an enigmatic tale that is both gripping and horrifying.


User Rating:
8.2/10   19,149 votes »
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Release Date:
7 March 1975 (Soviet Union) See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
(22 articles)
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User Reviews:
Reflections Reflections Reflections See more (90 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
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
Ángel Gutiérrez ... A Spaniard
Tatiana Del Bosque ... A Spaniard
Teresa Del Bosque ... A Spaniard
L. Correcer ... A Spaniard
Diego García ... A Spaniard
Teresa Rames ... A Spaniard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olga Kizilova ... Red-head (uncredited)
Aleksandr Misharin ... Bearded Doctor (uncredited)

Directed by
Andrei Tarkovsky  (as Andrey Tarkovskiy)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Aleksandr Misharin  (as A. Misharin)
Arseniy Tarkovskiy  poems (uncredited)
Andrei Tarkovsky  (as Andrey Tarkovskiy)

Produced by
Erik Waisberg .... producer
Original Music by
Eduard Artemev 
Cinematography by
Georgi Rerberg 
Film Editing by
Lyudmila Feyginova 
Production Design by
Nikolay Dvigubskiy 
Costume Design by
Nelli Fomina  (as Nina Fomina)
Makeup Department
Vera Rudina .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mariya Chugunova .... assistant director
Larisa Tarkovskaya .... assistant director
Art Department
A. Merkulov .... set designer
Sound Department
Semyon Litvinov .... sound
Special Effects by
Yuri Potapov .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Alexey Nikolaev .... camera operator
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zerkalo" - Soviet Union (original title)
See more »
108 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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 »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
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...See more »
Movie Connections:
Jovanni Battista Pergolesi - Stabat MaterSee more »


Which paint inspired the famous scene with a bird landing at boy's head?
See more »
35 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
Reflections Reflections Reflections, 3 September 2002
Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach

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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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Tarkovsky fans who didn't like this film drexellm3433
Andrei Tarkovsky - The "Uri Geller" of the film world. Percepto
The beating heart in the head Liendale
Other contenders fot most stunning imagery captured on film filmfancritic
Viewing films after Tarkovsky's films brenanathome
One small problem with ZERKALO schindlerslist1993
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