7.5/10
2,217
14 user 21 critic

The Mirror (1997)

Ayneh (original title)
When a young girl becomes lost in the hustle and bustle of Tehran, her journey turns into a dazzling exercise on the nature of film itself. In this ingenious and daringly original feature, ... See full summary »

Director:

Jafar Panahi

Writer:

Jafar Panahi
Reviews
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Mina Mohammad Khani Mina Mohammad Khani ... Little Girl / Mina
Aida Mohammadkhani Aida Mohammadkhani ... Mina
Kazem Mojdehi Kazem Mojdehi
Naser Omuni Naser Omuni
M. Shirzad M. Shirzad
T. Samadpour T. Samadpour
Edit

Storyline

When a young girl becomes lost in the hustle and bustle of Tehran, her journey turns into a dazzling exercise on the nature of film itself. In this ingenious and daringly original feature, world renowned director Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, Crimson gold) has wrapped a blunt political critique inside the layers of a deceptively simple film. Written by [from video jacket]

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school | girl | city | little girl | iran | See All (38) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

sourehcinema

Country:

Iran

Language:

Persian

Release Date:

25 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El espejo See more »

Filming Locations:

Tehran, Iran

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$69,915

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$69,915
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rooz Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film Mohammadkhani could be said to play two characters: the role of a little girl named Baharan and then herself as the film shifts into a documentary mode. Panahi reported casting her after having detected " a feeling of emptiness within her, and a determination to prove herself to the world." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pirated Copy (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clever but overlong.
19 November 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I would love to know more about the making of this film. Is this film exactly as the director, Jafar Panahi, planned or did he simply adapt the film to circumstances? I'll try to explain: The film begins with a primary school letting out for the day. All the children either take their bus or have their parents come for them. That is, everyone but tiny Mina (who appears to be about 6 or 7). When her mother doesn't show, an irresponsible teacher sends her off with a well-meaning man--but soon she is separated from him and the child fends for herself--trying to zig-zag her way through the city to her home. However, Teheran is a city of 8,000,000--and the traffic is crazy busy--and so the child's task seems impossible--especially since she doesn't exactly know how to get home.

About 40% of the way through the film, the child suddenly announces that she is finished with the movie and is leaving. And, you see the camera crew and director! They beg the child to continue but she will not. However, they now decide to continue filming her--but from a distance. And, the reality and the film are about the same here, as the child does continue walking and looking for her home--just like her character.

The idea of this film is quite good and the Iranians have shown that you can make great films with child actors and not much in the way of plot (such as Majid Majidi's "Children of Heaven"). However, although the idea of someone stepping out of the film is intriguing, the problem is that it happens way too early in the movie. Because of this, the pictures just goes on and on and on and it is simply way overlong. Had the film been 45 minutes or even an hour, it would have worked much better. But, at an hour and 42 minutes, it becomes quite dull and drags. Worth seeing for the insane film buff (like me)--otherwise you could do better. The only reason the film earns a 5 is the idea is sound and the little girl is pretty cute.


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