The Mirror (1975) Script

What is your first name, your last name?

My name is Yuri Zhary.

Where did you come from?

I came from...


What school do you go to?

I go to a technical school.

Now we're going to have a séance.

You just look at me.

Look me in the eyes.

Look in front of you.

Turn around, with your back to me.

Concentrate on my hand.

My hand is drawing you back.

Spread your hands.

Concentrate. All your tension is centred in your hands.

Your hands are strained!

Concentrate all of your will power, your big desire to win, on your hands.

Your hands are getting more and more tense.

They're very tense. Still more tense.

Look at your fingers. Your fingers are tense.

From here the tension passes on to your fingers.

Look at your hands. Yuri, concentrate!

On my count of three, your hands will become immobile.

Concentrate! Look at your hands.

One, two, three! Your hands don't move.

You can't move them.

You're trying to move your hands, but they're fixed.

It's very hard for you to make the slightest movement.

Now I'm going to lift this transfixion, and you'll be able to speak freely, easily and articulately.

From now on, you will speak loudly and clearly.

Look at me.

I'm lifting the tension from your hands and your speech.

One, two, three!

Go ahead, say loudly and clearly: I can speak!





The road from the station passed through Ignatievo, then swerved near the farm we had lived on each summer before the war, and through a dense oak forest went on as far as Tomshino.

Usually we spotted our people as soon as they appeared from behind a bush in the mid-field.

If he turned from the bush towards our house, then it was father.

If not, it meant it was not father and that father would never come.

Am I going the right way to Tomshino?

You shouldn't have taken a turn at the bush.

And this... What's this? What?

Why are you sitting here?

I live here. Where? On the fence?

Are you interested in the way to Tomshino or where I live?

I brought all the instruments, but forgot the key.

Do you happen to have a nail or a screw-driver?

I don't have any nails.

Why are you so nervous?

Give me your hand. I'm a doctor.

You're bothering me.

Do you want me to call my husband?

You haven't got a husband. There's no ring.

Though people don't wear rings nowadays. Maybe only old people.

May I have a cigarette?

Why do you look so sad?

And why do you look so happy?

It's a pleasure to fall down with an attractive woman.

You know, I fell and found strange things here, roots, bushes...

Has it ever occurred to you that plants can feel, know, even comprehend?

The trees, this hazelnut bush...

This is the alder-tree. It doesn't matter.

They don't run about.

Like us who are rushing, fussing, uttering banalities.

That's because we don't trust nature that is inside us.

Always this suspicion, haste, and no time to stop and think.

Look, you seem to be a bit...

It's no problem for me. I'm a doctor.

And what about Ward Number Six?

Oh, Chekhov had made it all up.

Come to Tomshino sometime.


We often have a good time there.

You're bleeding!

Where? Behind your ear.

The other one.

"Each moment of our dates, not many

"We celebrated as an Epiphany

"Alone in the whole world

"More daring and lighter than a bird

"Down the stairs, like a dizzy apparition

"You came to take me on your road Through rain-soaked lilacs

"To your own possession To the looking-glass world

"As night descended

"I was blessed with grace

"The altar gate opened up

"And in the darkness shining

"And slowly reclining was your body naked

"On waking up I said, God bless you!

"Although I knew how daring and undue

"My blessing was: You were fast asleep

"Your closed eyelids with the universal blue

"The lilac on the table so strained to sweep

"Touched by the blue, your lids

"Were quite serene, your hand was warm

"And rivers pulsed in crystal slits

"Mountains smoked, and oceans swarmed

"You held a sphere in your palm

"Of crystal, on your throne You were sleeping calm

"And oh my God! - Belonging only to me

"You woke and at once transformed

"The language humans speak and think

"Speech rushed up sonorously formed

"With the word "you" so much reformed

"As to evolve a new sense meaning king

"And suddenly all changed, like in a trance

"Even trivial things, so often used and tried

"When standing 'tween us, guarding us

"Was water, solid, stratified

"It carried us I don't know where

"Retreating before us, like some mirage

"Were cities, miraculously fair

"Under our feet the mint grass spread

"The birds were following our tread

"The fishes came to a river bend

"And to our eyes the sky was open

"Behind us our fate was groping

"Like an insane man with a razor in his hand"

Oh, good heavens! Dounya!

What is it, Pasha?

A fire! But be quiet.

He'll get what's coming to him!

And what if Vitya is in there? What if he's burnt? unwipeable by hand...



- Alexei? Hello, ma!

What's wrong with your voice?

Nothing serious. I guess it's just a sore throat.

I haven't spoken to anyone for three days.

I even liked it. I think it's good to keep silent for a while.

Words can't express everything a person feels.

Words are flaccid.

I just dreamed of you in my sleep.

As though I were still a child...

By the way, what year was it when Dad left us?

1935. Why?

And the fire? Remember the hay-loft that burnt down at the farm?

That was in '35 too.

All right, stop pulling the wool over my eyes.

You know, Lisa died.

Lisa who?

The one I worked in the printing house with.

Oh, God. When? - This morning, at 7:00.

And what time is it now? What is now?

- Almost 6:00. In the morning?

What's the matter with you? In the evening.

Mum, why do we have to fight all the time?

I'm sorry if I did anything wrong.

Printing-house. Next stop: Serpukhovskaya.

What's the rush?


Where are the proofs I've been reading?

I don't know... Just a minute.

Yelizaveta Pavlovna is here.

Marousia, what's wrong?

Something in yesterday's proofs?

In the Goslit edition? Don't be so nervous!

We should look in the typesetting case. But of course.

Nothing terrible has happened.

It's such an important edition!

Although misprints have no place in any edition.

Shut up, you idiot.

What happened? Nothing serious.

I just want to check something. I may be wrong...

Let's start from the beginning.

I'd rather do it myself.

Everybody's rushing, no one's got any time!

You think I'm afraid?

No, let other people be afraid.

Some people should work, and others should be afraid.

Well, nothing awful has happened.

If it happened, it happened. We've been printing all night.

"Yesterday morning I waited for you

"That you won't come they probably guessed

"Remember what beautiful weather it was?

"Holiday weather! And I walked coatless

"Today you're here, and they have arranged

"An utterly gloomy and cloudy day

"It rains, and it's getting unusually late

"The rain drops run down the cold terrain

"Unsoothable by word, unwipeable by hand"

You see, it wasn't there, was it? Everything is all right.

It wasn't... That would've been a horrid mistake.

Why are you crying then?

I even saw that word typeset.

What word?


This is pure alcohol. Not much, but it might help.

You've got all drenched up. You look like a scarecrow!

Really, I'm all wet.

I guess I'll go and take a shower. Where's my comb?

You know who you look like now?

Who? Maria Timofeyevna.

What Maria Timofeyevna?

Here. You've been looking for your comb, haven't you?

Tell me, who's Maria Timofeyevna?

There was such a woman, Captain Lebyadkin's sister.


You're the spitting image of Lebyadkina.

In what way do I resemble her?

Yes, FYODOR Mikhailovich was... Whatever you may say...


Lebyadkin, bring some water!

The difference is her brother would not bring her water, but beat her.

Explain it. I don't understand.

All your life is just that "bring some water!"

And what does it lead to?

Just an appearance of independence.

If something doesn't suit you, you pretend it doesn't exist.

What nonsense you're talking!

I'm amazed at the patience of your ex-husband.

He should have run away much sooner.

What do you want from me?

Have you ever admitted you were wrong? Never!

You just made up this whole situation!

As long as you haven't succeeded in elevating your dear husband to this nonsensical emancipated condition of yours, then you can be sure he has been saved just in time.

As for your children, you will definitely make them miserable.

Stop this idiocy!

Come on now, Masha!

What is it, for God's sake?

Leave me alone.

"Midway along the journey of my life

"I woke to find myself in a dark wood"

I always said that you looked like my mother.

Apparently, that's the reason we divorced.

I notice with horror how much Ignat is becoming like you.

Why with horror?

We two could never talk like normal human beings.

When I recall my childhood and my mother, somehow she always has your face.

I know why though.

I pity you both, you and her.


Ignat, put the glass down!

You won't be able to live a normal life with anyone.


Don't feel offended. You seem to be convinced that the very fact of your existence close by will make everybody happy.

You only know how to demand.

That's because I was brought up by women.

If you don't want Ignat to become like that, get married as soon as possible.

Get married to whom? That I don't know.

Or give Ignat to me.

Why didn't you make it up with your mother? It was your fault.

My fault? What fault?

She's convinced herself she knows better than I how I should live.

That she can make me happy.

You happy?

As far as my mother is concerned, I can feel it better than you.

What can you feel better?

That we're getting more and more distant, and I can't do anything about it.

Natalya, try to distract him. He's talking about Spain again.

It will end up in a scandal.

I wanted to ask you a favour. We're redecorating now.

Ignat wants to live with you for a week.

I will be very happy.

What is he saying?

He's showing the great matador Palomo Linares.

Most of all, he was excited by the farewell he was given.

The whole town came to see him off. People sang and danced.

His mother couldn't come, she was sick.

And his father stood aside, sad and silent.

He knew they were thinking the same thing, that they probably would never see each other again.

Are you mocking at us or what?

We taught you and taught you, and it was no use.

Now it turns out you can!

He went to Spain and didn't understand anything.

Did you ever want to go back to Spain?

I can't go, I've got a Russian husband.

And Russian children.

I'll talk to her myself.


Come here. I'm leaving.

For God's sake...

Come on.

Always in a hurry...

Don't put it together, just give it to me like that.

Oh, I felt an electric shock. What shock?

As if it had already happened...

But I've never been here before.

Come on, give me the money and stop dreaming.

Clean up a bit, make the place tidy.

Don't touch anything here.

If Maria Nikolaevna comes, tell her to wait for me.

Come in. How are you?

May we have another cup for the young man?

Take the notebook from the third shelf in the bookcase, will you?

Yes, that's the one.

Read from the page that is marked with a ribbon.

"To the question of how sciences and arts affect people's morals, "Rousseau answered, 'Negatively."'

Read only what is underlined with the red pencil.

"Notwithstanding the..." Oh, no!

"'The division of churches separated us from Europe.

"'We remained excluded

"'from every great event that had shaken it.

"'However, we had our own special destiny.

"'Russia, with her immense territory, "'had swallowed up the Mongol invasion.

"'The Tartars didn't dare cross our western borders.

"'They retreated to their wilderness

"'and Christian civilisation had been saved.

"'To attain that goal, we had to lead

"'a special kind of life which, while leaving us Christians, "'had made us alien to the Christian world.

"'As for our historic insignificance, "'I cannot agree with you on that.

"'Don't you find anything significant at all

"'in today's situation in Russia

"'that would strike a future historian?

"'Although I'm heartily attached to our sovereign, "'I'm far from delighted with everything I see around me.

"'As a man of letters, I'm being annoyed, insulted, "'but I swear that nothing in the world would have made me

"'change my home country or have any other history

"'than the history of our forebears, "'such as it was given us by God.'

"From Pushkin's letter to Chaadayev. October 19, 1836."

Go, open up.

I'm afraid I've got the wrong address.

Ignat, how are you doing?

Did Maria Nikolaevna come?

No. Though some woman came, but she's got the wrong apartment.

Find something to do but don't make a mess, or invite somebody round.

Do you know any girls?

You mean from my class? Oh, no!

At your age, I was already in love... During the war...

With a redhead... Her lips were always blistered.

Our military instructor was chasing after her, he was shell-shocked.

Are you listening to me?

What did you fire at? You think I didn't see it?

You were firing up!

What's wrong with that? There's no one there.

And what if somebody was there?

Where? There are only trees there.

And what if somebody climbed a tree?

About face!

I commanded "about face."

Why are you standing around? Put down your rifle.

That's what I did.

Did you learn drill regulations?

Did you?

About face in Russian means exactly what I did.

About face means a turn of 360 degrees.

What degrees?

About face!

To the firing position, forward march!

I'm going to send for your parents.

What parents?

You'll know very soon what parents.

What is the firing position?

Down on the floor mat.

His parents died during the siege.

The firing position is a firing position.

Markov. Yes, sir.

Name the basic elements of

the rifle.

The butt.

The muzzle. It's you who's a muzzle.

What is the muzzle then?

Lads! A grenade!

It's a hand grenade!

Don't do it!

Down on the ground!

You'll be killed!

It's only a dummy grenade.

And you say you're from Leningrad and been under the siege.

"I don't believe in premonitions

"I have no trust in superstitions

"I don't run from slander or venom

"There's no death on earth

"All are immortal, everything's immortal

"Don't be afraid of death at 17, nor at 70

"There's just reality and light

"There's neither death nor darkness In this world

"At last we all have reached the shore

"And I'm the one who casts a fishing rod

"When immortality is coming in a shoal

"Live in a house, and it'll never fall

"To any of the centuries I'd nod

"And enter it, a house I'd install

"That's why with me your children Share board

"Your wives join me at my table, and all

"One table serves Both grandfather and grandchild

"The future's being made right now

"Whenever I'm to raise my hand in tide

"I all five rays of it on you bestow

"With collarbones, as if with timber work

"I propped up every day of past age

"I measured time by a world-wide walk

"I passed through it like through the Urals

"I chose the age up to my own measure

"We headed south, with dust flying away

"The weeds smoked up And at his own leisure

"His feeler on the horseshoe The grasshopper forecast

"He prophesied death, as if he were a monk

"But with my fate strapped to my saddle fast

"I'm riding now in the time to come

"And surging on the stirrups to my own drum

"My immortality is quite enough for me

"For my own blood to flow ages through

"For steady warmth And a haven safe and true

"I'd give my life self-willingly and freely

"Had not its volatile, needle-like sword

"Been leading me like a thread Throughout the world"


And the children?

Where are the children?

I'm going to tell everybody that you've stolen the book.

What? I will, you'll see.

Now stop it! Go on, tell everybody!

I will anyway!



You could have come more often. You know that he's missing you.

I'll tell you what...

Let Ignat live with me.

Are you serious?

You said yourself that he would like to.

With you, it's better to keep one's mouth shut.

You mean I'm inventing this for my own pleasure?

Let's ask him. Whatever he decides...

Besides, it will make your life much easier.

Why would this make it easier for me?

Have you collected your books?

Go and say goodbye to your father.

Your mother and I would like to ask you...


Wouldn't it be better if you lived with me?


You and I will live together. Haven't you said so to your mother?

Said what? When? No, please.

We really look alike, don't we?

Not at all!

What do you want from your mother? What kind of relationship?

The kind of relationship you had in your childhood is impossible.

You speak of some feeling of guilt, of her life being ruined because of you...

Well, you can't get away from it.

And what she needs is for you to become a baby again, for her to be able to carry you and protect you.

My God.

Why on earth am I meddling in it?

It's always like this.

Why are you whimpering? Explain it.

Should I marry him or not?

Do I know him? No.

Is he Ukrainian?

Does it matter?

What does he do? He's a writer.

Doesn't his name happen to be Dostoyevsky?

Yes, Dostoyevsky.

He hasn't written anything worthwhile. Nobody knows him.

He must be about 40, isn't he? Apparently, he's got no talent?

You've changed so much.

So, he has no talent, he doesn't write anything.

He does write, but they don't publish him.

Look, our precious failure has set something on fire.

Now he's punishing me.

No need to be so ironic about his failure.

If he doesn't finish school, he'll end up being drafted.

And you'll go begging to have him exempted from the army.

This is all the result of your indulging him.

By the way, the army would be good for him.

Why don't you call your mother?

After Aunt Lisa's death, she stayed in bed for three days.

I didn't know. You don't even call her any more.

Wasn't she supposed to come here at 5:00?

Is it so difficult to make the first move?

We were talking about Ignat.

It may be my fault, too.

Or is it because we got so bourgeois?

And our embourgeoisement is so dense, so Asian.

I have just one suit to go out in.

With private ownership non-existent, our well-being is on the rise.

Nothing makes any sense any more.

Why do you get so irritated?

I know a family whose 15-year-old son said, "I'm leaving you. It disgusts me to see

"how you weasel around trying to please everybody."

Good boy. Not like our booby.

Unfortunately, our boy would never say such a thing.

I can imagine that family of yours!

They're no worse than we are. He works for a newspaper.

And thinks he's a writer, too.

Though he's unable to understand that a book is not a way of making money but a statement.

A poet is called upon to provoke a spiritual jolt and not to cultivate idolaters.

What am I going to do?

You're going to get married.

Do you happen to remember who it was who saw a bush on fire?

I mean the angel as a bush?

I don't remember. In any case, it wasn't Ignat.

Maybe we should send him to a cadet school?

An angel as a flame coming from a bush appeared to the prophet Moses.

He led his people out across the sea.

Why has nothing like that ever appeared to me?

With an amazing regularity, I keep seeing one and the same dream.

It seems to make me return to the place poignantly dear to my heart, where my grandfather's house used to be, in which I was born 40 years ago right on the dinner table.

Each time I try to enter it, something prevents me from doing that.

I have this dream again and again.

And when I see those walls made of logs and the dark entrance, even in my dream I become aware that I'm only dreaming it.

And the overwhelming joy is clouded by anticipation of awakening.

At times, something happens and I stop dreaming of the house and the pine trees of my childhood around it.

Then I get depressed.

And I can't wait to see this dream in which I'll be a child again and feel happy again because everything will be still ahead, everything will be possible.


Mum, they opened up! What's the matter with you?




Are you Nadezhda Petrovna? I don't think I...

I'm Matvey Ivanov's stepdaughter.

He was a friend of your husband.


What Matvey?

The doctor. He used to live here.

Then he moved to Yurievets and became a legal expert.

Are you from town?

We're from Moscow, but we have a room in Yurievets.

We were evacuated last autumn.

And you, aren't you tired?

The air raids on Moscow began and I have two kids.

My mother has some old connections here.

My husband's not here, he's in town.

Stop scratching yourself!

Actually I came to see you. It's a ladies' little secret.

Come on in. Don't just stand there.

Wipe your feet. Masha's just washed the floor.

Sit here for a while. We won't be long.

Why are you sitting in the dark? Did it go out?

You should've called us.

What's your name? Alyosha.

I've got a son too. Not so big as you, of course.

It's not easy having kids now, with the war going.

I wish I had a girl too.

Want to have a look? He's asleep.

We'll be quiet. He's such a darling.

The other day he asked his father, "Why is five kopecks bigger than ten kopecks?"

I was just dumbfounded, and his father didn't know what to say.

He always wanted a daughter. He even thought of a girl's name.

And I prepared a pink layette.

Then I had to make everything anew.

He put us to a lot of trouble, little rascal.

You'll see for yourself.

We woke you up, didn't we?

That's your mummy's fault, she just can't stop talking.

See, we've got company. Strangers, aren't they?

You just wouldn't wake up, would you?

All right, darling, go back to sleep.

Do they suit me? And the ring?

What's wrong? I just felt queasy.

Of course, you've made a long trip. I should have known better.

Have a drink. It will warm you up.

I just talk and talk when I ought to make supper.

Oh, please, you don't have to do it.

But I can't let you go like that. We had a meal before leaving.

I don't like his cough!

Well, he runs wild.

We must have my husband examine him.

We can't wait, we have a two-hour walk to make.

And what about the earrings? My husband's got the money.

We're going to have a cock slaughtered. Only may I ask you...

I'm three months pregnant and having fits of sickness.

Even when I'm milking a cow, it gets so bad...

As for the cock... Could you?

Well, I myself...

What, you too?

No, but I've never done it before.

Oh, it's nothing. Sure, in Moscow, you ate them already slaughtered.

I usually do it right here, on this little log.

Here's the axe. My husband sharpened it this morning.

You mean, right in the room? We'll put a basin underneath.

And tomorrow you'll take a chicken with you.

No, I can't.

Maybe we'll ask Alyosha to do that? After all, he's a man.

Why Alyosha?

All right, hold it tight. If it breaks loose, it'll smash the dishes.

Oh no, I don't feel... Well?

Calm down. Everything will be all right.

It's a pity I only see you when I feel very unwell.

- Do you hear me? - Yes.

At last I soared up.

What's wrong, Marousia? You feel bad?

Don't be surprised. I love you.

Are you leaving already? And the earrings? My husband will be right here.

He's got the money. We've changed our mind.

It's 15 versts to the town. It's going to be dark soon.

That's all right, don't worry.

"A man has but one body, like a single cell

"The soul is sick and tired Of its too solid shell

"With ears, mouth, eyes The size of a five kopeck coin

"And skin all scarred and diced Spread over a skeleton

"Through cornea it wings To a heavenly spring

"To ice-laden slings, to a chariot birds bring

"It hears through the grating Of its living prison pen

"The fields' and forests' rattling The Seven Seas' refrain

"Without a body, a soul's nude As a body's nude without a shirt

"No thought's forthcoming, no good No idea's born and no word

"A question that has no answer Whoever can come back

"From the floor where no dancer Was ever to leave track?

"I dream of another soul In quite a different garb

"While shifting between dole And hope, it burns up

"Like alcohol and goes Away casts no shadow

"And just leaves as mementoes The lilacs smelling of meadow

"Run on, my child, do not lament The fate of poor Eurydice

"Just keep on driving to globe's end Your copper hoop for all to see

"As long as answering to your step However slight might be a tone

"The earth sends signals gay and pep To every energetic bone"

Mum, the kerosene stove is smoking.


Everything will depend on him.

Do you think a sore throat could have such an after-effect?

A sore throat has nothing to do with it.

This is a common case. Common?

You know...

A mother dies suddenly, then the man's wife and child...

A few days and the man is no more, though he was quite healthy.

But no one's died in his family.

There are such things as conscience, memories...

What do memories have to do it with it?

You think he's guilty of something? He thinks so.

Leave me alone.

Did you say something? Leave me alone!

I just wanted to be happy.

And what's going to happen to your mother if you don't get up?

It's nothing, everything will be all right.

Everything will be...

Would you rather have a boy or a girl?