Two not quite similar men, our contemporaries, psychologist-linguist Sergey Pshenichny and former mining engineer Andrew Nemchinov, are walking in the street in their native miners town and...
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Two not quite similar men, our contemporaries, psychologist-linguist Sergey Pshenichny and former mining engineer Andrew Nemchinov, are walking in the street in their native miners town and found themselves in 1949. Its a common knowledge that real miracles happen without technical devices: time comes miracle happens. They spend in 1949 only one day the next morning they found that it is the same day that was yesterday. All several months, they spent in the past, they spent in one and the same day: the 8th of May, Sunday, the day of heightened coal production. In the morning to the coal mine, in an hour an accident in a coalface, at 10 o'clock wire from the Ministry, after work reunion concerning the Stalins anniversary; robbing of pay desk, death of policeman Ryabenko, in the evening - volunteer Sunday work...and in the morning the same, and so for ever and ever Philosophic fiction, accompanied by music of group Nautilus Pompillius. After a novel of S. Rybasa of the same name.
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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