8.1/10
31,732
116 user 65 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
4,157 ( 71)

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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

In the first scene involving a telephone call, the shot tracks past a French poster of Andrei Rublev (1966), another Andrei Tarkovsky film. See more »

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. 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

Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Matthäuspassion - BWV 244
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Tops
26 March 2001 | by the_monocleSee all my reviews

It's not easy to make such judgments, but this is my favorite film. A personal choice, for sure, but what MIRROR achieves is the height of poetry and literature. Its final moment, if it works for you (and I can imagine it wouldn't for all), is a success of the "method of indirection" sought by poetry. Its effect is cumulative and devastating.

People often stress the difficulty of this film, but my only answer is to allow it to wash over you and allow it to have its effect. The first time I saw it, I was amazed, but a little baffled. The second time I cried. Each time since then I've teared up, if not actually wept. Its presentation, in its last shots, of the totality of the human experience, combined with the Bach's St John Passion, crushes me every time. And I'm not even Russian. Nor am I religious--this is the closest I get to religion. You just have to be human to understand MIRROR. This is the way of all Tarkovsky.


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