8.1/10
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The Mirror (1974)

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
4,854 ( 70)

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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 Daniltsev ... Ignat / Aleksei - twelve years old
Nikolay Grinko ... Printery Director
Alla Demidova ... Lisa
Yuriy Nazarov ... Military trainer
Anatoliy Solonitsyn ... Forensic doctor
Larisa Tarkovskaya 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

Andrei Tarkovsky made 32 versions of The Mirror (1974) before he approved the final (33rd) cut. 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 ...
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Connections

Featured in The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

They Tell Us That Your Mighty Powers
from opera "The Indian Queen" Act 4
Written by Henry Purcell
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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