The Mirror

For many, The Mirror is simply Tarkovsky's masterpiece-his most ambitious and most emotionally wrenching film. The plot, such as it is, concerns a dying man who reflects back on his childhood during World War II, the postwar transformation of Russian society, and his difficult relations with his wife and his mother. Yet, the film is concerned less with the facts of the memories than the memory's textures: the precise feelings experienced at these moments. A collage of imagery-including dramatic sequences, personal memories, newsreels, dreams, and purely abstract passages-the film also liberally quotes from the poetry of Tarkovsky's father Arseny. In a double role as the narrator's estranged wife and his mother, Margareta Terekova is simply amazing.

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