Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors

Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors (Russian: Королевство Кривых Зеркал, translit. Korolevstvo krivykh zerkal) is a 1963 Soviet fairy tale film directed by Aleksandr Rou based on the novel, Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors, by Vitali Gubarev.

Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors
Soviet billboard theatrical poster of the film
Nushrok, Abazh and Anidag trio (top)
Olya and Yalo (bottom)
Directed byAleksandr Rou
Written byLev Arkadyev
Vitali Gubarev
StarringOlga Yukina
Tatyana Yukina
Andrei Fajt
Arkadi Tsinman
Lidiya Vertinskaya
Music byArkady Filippenko
Distributed byGorky Film Studio
Release date
Running time
80 minutes
CountrySoviet Union

At the end of 2007, Russia TV filmed a musical remake with the same name, featuring stars Nikolay Baskov, Alla Pugacheva, and the Tolmachevy Sisters. The original film contains introduction music and a fairytale style of the early 1960s.

The film was also the inspiration for a restaurant in Moscow which only hired twins as waiting staff.[1]

Plot summary

Similar in subject to and perhaps inspired by the novel Through The Looking Glass, the film centers around an encounter between a girl named Olya and a mysterious counterpart, Yalo, while staring into a mirror. The characters are exact opposites: Yalo is the absolute opposite of Olya in every way. Where Yalo is organized and precise, Olya is careless and absent-minded. In the story, Olya steps through the mirror into the Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors where Yalo resides. The kingdom, under the rule of King Yagupop LXXVII (reverse of Popugay, meaning parrot), produces crooked mirrors that brainwash its people through subtle changes in reality. When Yalo's friend, a boy named Gurd (reverse of Drug, meaning friend), is suddenly imprisoned for refusing to make crooked mirrors by the evil leaders Anidag (reverse of Gadina, meaning snake), Nushrok (reverse of Korshun, meaning kite) and Abazh (reverse of Zhaba, meaning toad), Olya decides to accompany Yalo to rescue him.

They meet a character who introduces herself as Aunt Aksal (reverse of Laska, meaning kindness), one of the king's cooks, who in order to help them reach the king and save Gurd, disguises them as pages of the king. On meeting the king, Anidag, Nushrok, and Abazh reveal themselves to be the actual powers behind the throne. The latter half of the story focuses on their ultimate defeat and the rescue of Gurd with the help of Anidag's humiliated old servant Bar (reverse of Rab, meaning slave), who rebels against his master. The kingdom's mirrors are returned to normal, and its society becomes free. Olya at last returns to her home and lives happily ever after with her grandmother.

It has been suggested the story is directed at the perceived hypocrisy of western nations in attacking the Soviet propaganda machine during the Cold War.



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