The great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's transcendent autobiographical poem The Mirror is a film that blends the themes of childhood memories, dreams, emotional abandonment and loss of innocence with slight touches of documentary footage which can be looked at as a political commentary on Russian history and of its people. The film shifts from three different timelines of the narrator life which are the pre war (1935), war (1940s), and post war (1960s-70s), as the narrator lays on his deathbed looking back at the life that he had lived. The three different timelines also slip in and out of different colors, black and white, sepia, and monochrome, with some scenes that include newsreel footage of wartime with Russia, China and Germany. This non narrative structure and collage like images that flow throughout the story can be looked at as a form of consciousness, dreams and memories.
Many of the long takes in The Mirror are visually beautiful and unforgettable, which include the simple act of a woman washing her hair in a basin, a barn on fire slowly burning to the ground, a woman levitating several feet above her bed, or even the mysterious opening sequence where a teenage boy is being cured of his stammer by a hypnotist. The elemental images of nature, fire, water, wind, doorways, mirrors, birds flying through windows, blowing drapes and a child who is forced to look and see beyond himself in the image of a mirror which seems like an image of eternity, are powerful existential images that you can't just shake and forget, as it brings back our own past experiences and traumas of our childhood that shaped us into the people we are today.