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

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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.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   18,056 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for The Mirror on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 March 1975 (Soviet Union) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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 »
User Reviews:
It is all in the mirror See more (87 total) »

Cast

  (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 »
Runtime:
108 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Wintertime scenes in the Mirror echo Bruegel's paintings Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap and The Hunters in the Snow.See more »
Goofs:
Incorrectly regarded as 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...See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Dust Devil (1992)See more »
Soundtrack:
Matthäuspassion - BWV 244See more »

FAQ

Which paint inspired the famous scene with a bird landing at boy's head?
See more »
297 out of 309 people found the following review useful.
It is all in the mirror, 23 May 2004
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA

I just finished watching it. It's been several years since I saw it last time. I worried that I may not like it as much as I used to...

I should not have worried - I love it even more now if that is at all possible. I've seen it at different times of my life - first, as a college student many years ago in Moscow; I keep returning to it all my life.

When Tarkovsky's Zerkalo (The Mirror) was first released, it divided the audience completely. I remember how my friends were passionately discussing it. One girl was complaining that she did not understand anything; the movie was confusing for her, dark, disturbing, the children characters - sad, pale, poorly dressed. I remember her asking, "Why did they show a boy in the opening scene that had an awful stutter, and they never showed that boy again? What did it mean when the dying man in bed was setting a bird free? How did he get the bird on the first place?" Another friend of mine, a guy, tried to explain the things to her. He suggested that she thought about the times Zerkalo was showing, he tried to explain to her Tarkovsky's symbolism where the bird could be representing life and soul of the main character and the boy with the stutter could mean that it was most difficult for people to communicate and understand each other.

I only listened to their argument and did not participate because I had not seen the film yet. When it finally happened, Andrei Arsenievich Tarkovsky was presented at the screening and he talked to the audience before the show. I remember him repeating over and over that there were no tricks, no puzzles, and no tongue-in-cheeks in the film; that every symbol, image, dialog, and sound was there because they belonged there. He asked us if we had questions. Someone from the audience suggested that we saw the film first, and then, asked questions. Tarkovsky replied that from his experience, not many viewers would sit through the film and who ever would, usually leave in silence, not asking anything. And then he told us a story. After Zerkalo was completed, it was first shown to the group of the famous critics. After watching it, critics started to argue about it, trying to find the hidden meaning and make sense of what they just saw. It went on and on until the cleaning lady who came to the screening room and had been waiting for the end of discussion to do her job, asked them for how long they would stay? Someone said to her that they were discussing a very complicated film, and they needed time to understand it. Cleaning lady asked, "What is that you do not understand in this film? I saw it also, and I understood everything." Critics were silenced for a moment, and then, one of them asked the woman to share her thoughts on Zerkalo. She answered, "It is about a man who had caused too much pain to the ones whom he loved and who loved him. Now he is dying and he is trying to ask them for forgiveness but he does not know how." After the pause Tarkovsky said that he had nothing else to add about his film to what the cleaning lady had to say.

I never understood complains that Zerkalo is a very confusing, difficult, and dark film. No, it is clear and deep as a mirror. Tarkovsky said so himself, and I believe him. Every time you look at the mirror, it will show you new depth and reflections. Past, presence, future, memory, love, guilt, forgiveness, beauty, sadness, nostalgia, and sacrifice - the mirror reflects it all -just watch closely. This is the film about his family, his country, and his times. Childhood memory and the memory of the past generations glued together. The film is a look back in time and sad realization that children reflect destiny of fathers, as in a mirror. Destinies reflected one in another.

Zerkalo is not just good cinema, it is pure cinema. Like architecture is music in stone, Zerkalo is poetry on screen.

My verdict – The Best Film ever made, the top of my list (tie with Andrei Rublyov).

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One small problem with ZERKALO schindlerslist1993
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The beating heart in the head Liendale
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