Ake Sandgren: Et rigtigt menneske/ Truly Human (2002) is a surreal
comedy that is largely satirical of the conventions and moral hypocrisy of
the burgeoisie, to the point that someone from another world desires to
get back to that world rather than keep living in the human world.
A family is shopping for a new apartment:
father, mother and a little child, Lisa.
Their old building is going to be demolished soon.
Back home, they have a dinner with friends to celebrate their relocation.
Walter, the husband, is so happy he even starts demolishing the old place.
Lisa is a strange child, who talks to her "Big Brother", whom she claims lives
behind the walls. Her mother, Charlotte,
has a simple explanation for that fantasy: she
had an abortion several years earlier.
The following day, as the father is driving and the mother is talking to him,
they have a car accident and Lisa is killed by the air bag.
After the funeral, they move to the new place, blaming and hating each other
for the death of their only child.
An unfocused camera shows the presence of Big Brother still in the house as
it gets demolished by the bulldozers. Big Brother is now free and starts
walking into the traffic of the street, risking his life because he has no clue
how to live in the real world.
Lisa appears to him in a shop window to say bye after turning him into a real
human being. He simply smiles.
Big Brother finds his parents and hides underneath their car. While the father
is driving, Big Brother climbs up the hood. His father thinks he just ran over
someone and stops to help him. Luckily, Big Brother is not seriously hurt.
Unfortunately, he can't speak any language. His father takes him to work,
where he is giving a presentation on shoes.
Walter is clearly having an affair with Anna, his secretary.
Big Brother walks into the meeting,
calls him "father" and pronounces the word "Lisa?"
The father thinks that he must be a refugee and drops him off at the refugee
camp. It takes a while for Big Brother to make friends among the other refugees,
since he cannot speak any of their languages, but eventually he assumes the
name of one of those man, Ahmed, and everybody assumes he must be a Muslim.
During a tour of the city, Big Brother sees his mother and leaves his group
to follow her. It turns out she is going to a meeting with her lover, Benjamin.
He calls her "Lisa's mom".
Attracted by the voices of children, Ahmed walks into a swimming pool,
strips naked and dives in. The guards almost arrest him.
Ahmed gets a job in a shoe store (because he remembers his father is in the
shoe business). There he meets a cute girl, Tanja, who seems to be interested
He takes an apartment in the same building where his parents live and one day
meets his mom in the laundry room.
At work, his boss treats him like a slave and shows him porno movies.
Ahmed has a date with the girl and shows her the porno movies but they part
Ahmed meets his dad and mom in the elevator: they both recognize him.
Walter remembers that Ahmed said "Lisa" and follows him to the store, but
then quickly leaves without talking to him.
Ahmed is fascinated by children and tries to play with them, but this gets
him in trouble with the father of one of the little girls who lives in the
The store owner visits Ahmed and they watch porno movies together.
Both mom and dad have a date with their lovers at the same restaurant,
and so find out that each one is cheating on the other.
They are both shocked but they have dinner at the same table to save their
Charlotte visits Ahmed in his flat and invites him to dinner with them.
Then she starts crying about Lisa in his arms.
At dinner, one of the guests asks him if he was ever tortured.
Ahmed does not understand the question, but right at that moment he has to
throw up, thereby convincing everybody that he was.
His father visits him too, just talk to someone about Lisa.
When a man with a little girl comes to the shoe store, Ahmed starts playing
with the girl and takes his clothes off. The father finds them hidden under
a blanket. The boss has no choice but to fire him.
Ahmed makes the same mistake in his apartment: he takes the little girl to his
apartment just to play, but her father thinks he's a pervert and has the police
His parents witness the scene and hear he's accused of pedophilia, but pretend
they don't know him.
Luckily, the children's testimonies prove his innocence and he is released.
He has finally learned that he must not play with children.
Too late: in the middle of the night, the father of the little girl and
some friends kidnap him and beat him.
In the morning he walks back to the old building and sneaks behind
a wall, while workers are drilling holes in the concrete.
He doesn't want to be a real humam being anymore.
Back to the scene of the accident, the girl survives and normal life resumes.