During a severe nervous breakdown, Aleksei, a man in his forties, relives episodes from his past, before, during and shortly after WW2. Images of his beloved mother, his first girlfriend, his childhood home flash before his mind's eye.
Nostalgia, sadness and dreams: Tarkovsky called The Mirror his most personal film. It didn't prevent viewers from sending him angry letters, criticizing his film as being too arcane. The film was met with so much resistance from the Soviet authorities that Tarkovsky almost quit directing films. Letters from his audience convinced him to reconsider.
The Mirror really is complex: past and present merging, no solidly defined plot, the acting often improvised. After all, this film is the archetypical Tarkovsky film, with the human soul metaphysically rising above the waving cornfields. "I believe that it is always through spiritual crisis that healing occurs," Tarkovsky wrote. "A spiritual crisis is an attempt to find oneself."
Wed Sept 25: Dutch
Mon Oct 3: English