In Slovakia, the sixteen year-old Terezka is discharged from her school with a letter to her mother. Along her surrealistic journey to find her mother, Terezka entwines reality and fantasy ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Dorota Nvotová ...
Terezka (as Dorotka Nvotová)
Marián Zednikovic ...
Anton Sulik ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pavol Bezelman
Petra Bosánská
Gabriela Bírová
Mojmír Caban ...
Stano Danciak ...
(as Stanislav Danciak)
Pávol Durák
Marián Filadelfi


In Slovakia, the sixteen year-old Terezka is discharged from her school with a letter to her mother. Along her surrealistic journey to find her mother, Terezka entwines reality and fantasy and meets a man that is hired to burn clothes; a woman buried on the ground; a young bride that is marrying the forty and something year-old widow of his brother to support her family as a tradition in their village; her younger brother that is intern in a special school; a decadent TV comedian and his wife; a powerful mobster in the kitchen of a restaurant; one lover of her mother in her former address; and finally her promiscuous mother that advises her to travel through the world. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy





Release Date:

16 May 1997 (Slovakia)  »

Also Known As:

Ilusões de Órbita  »

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User Reviews

Innocence and Imagination
7 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

From Slovakian director Martin Sulík, Orbis Pictus is a strange film that follows a teenage girl, Tereza, on a fanciful journey as she's sent home from boarding school with a letter for her mother. As she travels in a childish and innocent manner through the Slovakian countryside, she has numerous strange encounters with a variety of people, such as a well-to-do mobster, a man marrying his brother's much older widow, a famous singer (whose fame Tereza is entirely ignorant of), an old woman buried up to her waist in the ground and a man employed seemingly to burn brand new clothes. All these people have stories to impart upon Tereza, and as the encounters become more and more surreal it becomes apparent that, as we see the film from a child's perspective, here a child's fantasy and imagination are melded with reality.

On the surface Orbis Pictus presents itself as a quirky and serene film about a young girl journeying in ignorance of the world around her. Yet there's an underlying sense of menace here, as through the various encounters Tereza's innocence is tested against a darker side of reality that, while only hinted at, is a disturbing presence all the same and sets up perfectly for the film's last revelations as we learn the contents of the letter and as Tereza finally comes face to face with her mother. Much like the bulk of the film, it's an entirely ambiguous ending, but one that carries perfectly the film's theme of reality versus imagination and innocence.

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