Mirrors In The Dark  Czech Republic / 2021 / 74 mins


Marie (Alena Doláková) and her boyfriend František are trying to save their relationship by answering 36 questions that will, according to scientists, make you fall in love with anyone. Marie, fresh off of her 30th birthday, has a head full of many important questions of her own. Is it worth it to continue a career as a dancer if she will never reach the top? Will she be able to overcome her fears of mediocrity and be happy with herself? Will her mother stop questioning her choices in life? Most importantly – is her relationship significant enough to save? Šimon Holý is putting an extraordinarily authentic spotlight on relationships, dreams and concerns of present-day millennials in his formally distinct feature debut.

Rating C / Viewing: Age 18 and up

Director Statement

Psychologist Arthur Aron conducted a study that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one. The whole experiment ends with the fourth set, during which both strangers look into each other's eyes for four minutes straight. I took this test with my ex-partner and I was always thinking about its cinematic possibilities.

I was also obsessed with the topic of mediocrity. What does it mean to be mediocre? What are the integral parts of mediocrity? I decided to combine two things I was inspired by and create Mirrors in the Dark.

Marie, a dancer, takes this test together with her long-term boyfriend František. With every further set of questions, we delve deeper into their broken relationship, Marie's obsession with success and also her fear of being average and stuck in life.

Between the sets, we watch fragments from Marie's daily life. We see her dining angrily with her mother, talking in the night with her best friend and crying in solitude at her apartment.

She also rehearses new dance performance that is based on stories of classic Literary realism heroines Maryša (Mrštík Brothers), Nora and Heda (Henrik Ibsen). These women were standing at a crossroads in their lives and they must have made a decision as well as Marie does in the present. Maryša was one of the very first plays that made me think about career in directing and I wanted to work with the idea of Maryša in 2021. That is also where Marie (and František) got her name from.

Will Marie leave František? Will she prove her value to the strict choreographer? Will she accept her mistakes? Is there a chance for her to be happy? Mirrors in the Dark hopefully answers those questions along with 36 more.


Thursday, May 4 / 2:15pm

Atlantis Theater, Paradise Island



Šimon Holý


Šimon Holý


Šimon Holý, Jana Hojdová, Alžběta Janáčková

Principal Cast

Alena Doláková, Bořek Joura, Eliška Soukupová, Václav Vašák, Markéta Tannerová, Martin Dědoch


Czech (English Subtitles)


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