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Film / The Mirror

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The Mirror (Зеркало, Zerkalo) is a 1975 semi-autobiographical film by Andrei Tarkovsky. It is difficult to describe because of the plot, whose non-linear nature defies any kind of concrete narrative structure. It is best to describe it as the thoughts and recollections of Alexei (Ignat Daniltsev) and his son Ignat (Ignat Daniltsev) about his mother Maria (Margarita Terekhova) and wife Natalia (Margarita Terekhova). These memories stretch from the Great Patriotic War to the present day. The film was never officially released due to Gos Kino complaints, but has recently been released on DVD and subsequently welcomed into the Tarkovsky oeuvre.


This film provides examples of:

  • Civil War: The Spanish Civil War appears in stock footage in The Mirror and two characters there fled from Spain to the USSR then.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Typical Tarkovsky. Monochrome sequences appear throughout the movie.
  • Doppelgänger: Margarita Terekhova plays both Alexei's mother and Alexei's wife Natalia, as well as a random ginger-haired girl, to illustrate that Alexei's lack of a father figure and subsequent reliance on his mother causes him to compare all the women he knows to his mother.
  • Fanservice: Alexei's mother in The Mirror takes a shower in full view of the camera.
  • Stock Footage: The Mirror has lots of stock footage, including scenes of:
    • Soviet balloons.
    • The Spanish Civil War.
    • The Great Patriotic War.
    • The Sino-Soviet Border War.


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