Once upon a time, a baby girl named Snow White is born to the owner of a gym. Her mother dies soon after, her father marries a self-obsessed CrossFit enthusiast who exercises non-stop to be the best. Her hard work pays off and she becomes the most athletic, the most beautiful and the strongest in her domain proven by the fact that she can do 50 consecutive burpees! Snow White grows up in this CrossFit kingdom and, as time goes by, starts getting as athletic as her stepmother. Is there about to be a new record? Don’t tell me fairy tales!
With In the Mirror, director Laila Pakalniņa revisits the fairy tale genre, which she has previously explored in her feature films The Shoe (1998) and Dawn (2015). This time, she applies dark humour and social commentary to the age-old story of Snow White by the Brothers Grimm (1812). To place this black and white story squarely in the modern age of narcissism and fitness culture, Pakalniņa and her long-time collaborator and cinematographer Gints Bērziņš use acrobatic camerawork and selfie aesthetics. Taking centre stage in the starring roles we find dancer Madlēna Valdberga, actor Lauris Dzelzītis and ballet dancer Elza Leimane, and the seven dwarfs are a lively group of street gymnasts, parkour traceurs, triathletes and a powerlifter.