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Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a ... See full summary »

Director:

Jan Svankmajer

Writers:

Karel Jaromír Erben (fairy tale), Jan Svankmajer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Veronika Zilková ... Bozena
Jan Hartl ... Karel
Jaroslava Kretschmerová ... Alzbetka's Mother
Pavel Nový ... Alzbetka's Father
Kristina Adamcová Kristina Adamcová ... Alzbetka
Dagmar Stríbrná Dagmar Stríbrná ... Pani spravcova (mrs. caretaker)
Zdenek Kozák Zdenek Kozák ... Mr. Zlabek
Gustav Vondracek Gustav Vondracek ... Mladek, the postman
Arnost Goldflam ... Gynaecologist
Jitka Smutná ... Bulankova, the social worker
Jirí Lábus ... Policeman at station
Radek Holub ... Young postman
Jan Jirán Jan Jirán ... Karel's co-worker
Zdenek Palusga Zdenek Palusga ... Uniformed policeman
Frantisek Polata Frantisek Polata ... Plainclothes policeman
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Storyline

When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a stump in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than that of a normal child. Written by bob the moo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Czech Republic | UK | Japan

Language:

Czech

Release Date:

25 January 2001 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Otik See more »

Filming Locations:

Knovíz, Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,335, 23 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$116,710, 5 May 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Jan Svankmajer wanted to shoot this film in early nineties and considered to cast Woody Allen and Mia Farrow as Karel and Bozena. See more »

Quotes

Alzbetka: Before I was born did you sometimes take me out of your tummy and put me back in again?
See more »

Connections

Features Zamilované maso (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I urge you to see it. Its f***ing brilliant.
5 December 2001 | by bloo66See all my reviews

I had seen other films by Jan Svankmajer, so I had high expectations when I went to see this latest release. I was not disappointed. This is possibly Svankmajers most accessible feature film, as it follows a simple linear narrative on a parallel to a fairytale discovered by one character.

The film follows a couple who are unable to have children. Whilst in the woods one day, The man pulls up a tree stump which faintly resembles a baby. In jest, he gives this to his missus who, in her desperation, believes it is a real child. After a few exasperated protests from the skeptical father, she takes it home with her and the couple goes to great lengths to conceal the young root baby from the prying eyes of the neighbours. The child becomes difficult to hide as its appetite grows and, following the rules of the fairytale, it develops a taste for human flesh.

Despite the grim subject matter, the film remains fairly light hearted. There is some well-appreciated humour from the all-too-accurate characters, and despite the films length, I was not reduced to clock-watching. Svankmajers trademark stop-motion was sparce, but had all the more effect when it was used.

Svankmajer has used the mediums of film and animation to question the possibilities and blurs the line between fable and reality. This would not be credible, were it not for the accurate and witty insights into modern living and the characters it breeds. As it was, I found myself constantly questioning whether, maybe, perhaps, there's the slimmest of chances that the stuff of fairytales is. real.

I urge you to see it. Its f***ing brilliant.


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