Mirror (Зеркало) is one the most beautiful movies by acclaimed arthouse director, Andrei Tarkovsky. This semi-autobiographical film describes the regrets of a dying man.
Mirror’s main character is Alexei, a dying poet. In the nonlinear narrative of this film we get to see Alexei as a child and adolescent, but only hear his voice in adulthood. The story unfolds around his memories and dreams, which are themselves intertwined with archival footage of major historical events of the 20th century. Accompanying this entrancing plot structure are a series of offscreen poems read by Arseny Tarkovsky, Andrei Tarkovsky’s father. This nice family connection is carried on further by the inclusion of Andrei Tarkovsky’s mother, Maria Vishnyakova, in the role of the aged Maria, the mother of the protagonist.
When Mirror was first released in Moscow, it faced two considerable challenges: widespread inability to understand this complicated film, and a general assumption of anti-Soviet politics. As a result, the film received limited distribution. Today, we are lucky enough to be able to watch Mirror free online and enjoy this masterpiece – perhaps the pinnacle of all Tarkovsky’s amazing works.