Svyato opens with a quotation from an old legend: “But then everything changed on the day that man first saw his own reflection.” In Russian, “svyato” means both “happy, clear and joyful” as well as “considered holy.” But Svyato is also the short form of Svyatoslav and the nickname of Victor Kossakovsky’s son. The director, whose films often feature mirror images, covered every mirror in his house starting on the day Svyato was born. Now his son is two years old, and he will see his own reflection for the first time in his life. Svyato and his mirror image are recorded by three HD cameras; according to the director, the result is a film about “self-cognition and loneliness.” Svyato was the first part in a planned trilogy with the working title “Palindrome”. Although the rest of the trilogy has not yet come to fruition, Svyato can be seen as a study for Kossakovsky’s most recent film, Long Live the Antipodes!, in which he deploys his playful approach to mirror images on a global scale.
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