Andrei Tarkovsky

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All the episodes were really part of our family history. All of them, without exception. The only made up episode is the illness of the narrator, the author (whom we do not see on the screen)… You are asking whether this kind of creation, this creating of one’s own world—is this truth? Well, it is truth of course but as refracted through my memory. Consider for example my childhood home which we filmed, which you see in the film—this is a set. That is, the house was reconstructed in precisely the same spot where it had stood before, many years ago. What was left there was a… not even the foundation, only a hole that had once contained it. And precisely at this spot the house was rebuilt, reconstructed from photographs. This was extremely important to me—not because I wanted to be a naturalist of some kind but because my whole personal attitude toward the film’s content depended upon it; it would have been a personal drama for me if the house had looked different. Of course the trees have grown a lot at this place, everything overgrew, we had to cut down a lot. But when I brought my mom there, who appears in several sequences, she was so moved by this sight that I understood immediately it created the right impression…

I owe everything mainly to my mother. It was she who helped me find myself. And even in the film one can clearly see our living conditions were very tough, very difficult. Such were the times. Then my mother was left alone, I was 3 years old, my sister 1 year and a half and mother was bringing us up simply all the way, she never married, she was always with us. She didn’t marry for the second time, she loved her husband, my father, all her life. She was an amazing woman, really a saint.

I think..

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