8.1/10
33,035
117 user 67 critic

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:

Andrei Tarkovsky (as Andrey Tarkovskiy)

Writers:

Aleksandr Misharin (as A. Misharin), Andrei Tarkovsky (as Andrey Tarkovskiy)
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Popularity
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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 Tamara Ogorodnikova ... Nanny / Neighbour / Strange woman at the tea table
Yuri Sventisov Yuri Sventisov ... Yuri Zhary
Tamara Reshetnikova Tamara Reshetnikova
Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy ... Aleksei (voice)
Arseniy Tarkovskiy Arseniy Tarkovskiy ... Father (voice)
E. Del Bosque 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:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

18 January 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mirror See more »

Filming Locations:

Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

RUR 622,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Forensic doctor: You know, I fell and found strange things here - roots, bushes... Has it ever occurred to you that plants can feel, know, even comprehend? The trees, this hazel-nut bush...
Natalya: This is the alder-tree.
Forensic doctor: It doesn't matter. They don't run about. Like us who are rushing, fussing, uttering banalities. That's because we don't trust nature that is inside us. Always this suspiciousness, haste, and no time to stop and think.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Boss of It All (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Johannes Passion - BWV 245
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Visual beauty made indelible and significant
13 February 2003 | by Peegee-3See all my reviews

Has there ever been a more visually beautiful film than this one? That's a rhetorical question... one that only viewing it can answer.

To try to follow it as an ordinary narrative is to lose its poetic ambience...I let it wash over me like glorious music. We are so accustomed to "and then...and then" that our minds can follow as logic, that we tend to dismiss the affect that the visual image itself can have on our minds, hearts and souls. Tarkovsky is a poet...and for me this is his richest, most satisfying film of all. Included are film clips from WW 2, the Spanish Civil War, poetry by the director's father.

It does help to know that the same actress (Margarita Terekhova) plays the dying man's wife and his mother...as he allows his memory to shift over his life.

The only other director I can think of who understands the visual language of film and its significance as beautifully as Tarkovsky is Terence Malick.

Zerkalo is haunting and uplifting even as we know the "hero" is dying. Death, after all, is an intrinsic part of life.


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