Andrei Tarkovsky drew on memories of a rural childhood before WWII for this personal, impressionistic and unconventional film poem. For perhaps his most daring experimentation with film structure, Andrei Tarkovsky intersperses scenes from three eras – a childhood in the countryside, the Great War, and post-war maturity – to create a prismatic reflection of his own life and those of his parents.
Abandoning linear narrative in favour of dramatising discontinuous shards of memory (particularly relating to his mother Maria, played by Margarita Terekhova), Tarkovsky pioneered a poetic and richly allusive form. Wartime newsreel footage, self-consciously painterly compositions, indelible imagery (a field whipped suddenly by wind, a gas lantern flickering out), and the director’s mesmeric camera movements combine to create a work of cumulative, rhythmic effect. The soundtrack features music by Bach, and Tarkovsky’s father Arseny Tarkovsky reading from his own poetry.
“You’d think Mirror might be a heavy, intellectual film, but it is direct, even basic: remembering, childhood, loss, speculation… It talks to people not through words, but through images and emotions. Wonderfully shot and composed, it contains some of the most spectacular imagery ever captured on screen.” Barbara Schweizerhof
“A great reflection on Russian history through the eyes of Tarkovsky. Non-linear storytelling, dreamlike sequences, historical footage and much more… All this put together through amazing editing, influenced by shattered memories.” Hauvick Habéchian