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Proust meets "Groundhog Day" in a Donbass coal mining town of Stalinist Russia, with a soundtrack featuring Nautilus Pompilius doing "Goodbye America" is it any wonder that Khotinenko's Mirror ranks as one of a half-dozen perestroika-era movies that have achieved must-see status for Russians, ex-Soviets, never-were-Soviets and the rest of us?
The high-dome version: Zerkalo/Mirror said two things well in 1987 and just as well today: (1) the past is more complex than you thought; and (2) you can't fix it but you can understand it better which makes empathy possible and reconciliation within reach.
To describe much more is to deprive Mirror of some of its power to surprise, so enough said OK, plus these extra credit questions: 1. Does the Mirror of the title reflect (as it were) A. Tarkovsky's Mirror of 1974? And 2. Is somebody trying to further Perestroika II by putting Perestroika I movies like this one on prime-time Moscow TV so frequently of late, as the reports have it? Isn't that a nice conspiracy theory to contemplate, for a change?
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