The Mirror (Zerkalo)

Zerkalo (The Mirror) is a stunning mixture of dream and autobiography; of color and black-and-white; of mystical and physical images of nature, made by the most poetic and inventive of contemporary Soviet directors, Andrei Tarkovsky. A young boy is hypnotized in a clinic in an attempt to cure a chronic stutter. His autobiography is sketched through his dream-memories, the central figure of which is a woman (a mother, a wife, in one figure). The story moves from a pre-War rural setting, through the Stalin era and documentary images of two wars (the Spanish Civil War and WWII), to a post-War present. The Mirror was a legend before it was even shown in the West. On seeing it, Variety's Ron Holloway wrote: "...(I)t's a guess that The Mirror will go down in film books as the best or most striking of Tarkovsky's films - better appreciated than any of his three earlier genius-laden epics: Ivan's Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublov (1966, released in 1969), and Solaris (1972). He made this film at the height of his poetic powers after many years of remaining faithful to a progressive film movement he almost single-handedly instigated as its spiritual leader. Moreover, The Mirror was molded from a script of barely a single page - to receive permission under those circumstances signals respect of an unusual, commanding nature from the powers that be in the Soviet film industry. It's different than any other Soviet film to date."

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