n Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies - Initiation-to-death : towards an understanding of Andrei Tarkovsky's film 'The mirror'

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1025-3386


In this article two episodes of the film ('Mirror'), by Andrei Tarkovsky, are under consideration. The first is the prologue, where a psychotherapist cures young men suffering from logoneurosis. The second episode is the one in which Alexei and his mother visit a rich woman living in a home in a forest. Whereas the first episode may be seen as an initiation into life, the second appears to be an initiation into death. In this context, the third mystic episode, namely the reading by Ignat of Pushkin's letter to Chaadaev, may be interpreted as connecting the hero to the collective unconscious of Russia. The model that applies here is one of correspondence between the individual and the collective unconscious as two mirrors.

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