The Mirror (Russian: Зеркало, Zerkalo; known in the UK as Mirror) is a 1975 Russian art film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (1932–1986). It is loosely autobiographical, unconventionally structured, and incorporates poems composed and read by the director's father, Arseny Tarkovsky. The film features Margarita Terekhova, Ignat Daniltsev, Alla Demidova, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Tarkovsky's wife Larisa Tarkovskaya and his mother Maria Vishnyakova, with a soundtrack by Eduard Artemyev.
The Mirror has no apparent plot — instead, it rhythmically combines contemporary scenes with childhood memories, dreams, and newsreel footage. The cinematography slips unpredictably from color to black-and-white and back again. The loose flow of visually oneiric images has been compared to stream of consciousness technique in literature. Its complex, layered structure makes The Mirror one of Tarkovsky's most difficult films, as well as his most personal.
The concept of The Mirror dates as far back as 1964. Over the years Tarkovsky wrote several screenplay variants, at times working with Aleksandr Misharin. Their mutually-developed script initially was not approved by the film committee of Goskino, and it was only after several years of waiting that Tarkovsky would be allowed to realize The Mirror. At various times the script was known under different names, most notably Confession and A White, White Day. The completed film was initially rejected by Goskino, and after some delay was given only limited release in the Soviet Union.
The Mirror has grown in reputation over many years and ranked 9th in Sight and Sound's 2012 directors poll of the best films ever made.