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You're Human Like the Rest of Them (1967)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

In a hospital, a nurse stands at a blackboard in front of a group of patients, mainly old men in dressing gowns. She tells them about vertebrae, slipped discs, cartilage and the spinal column. Haakon, much younger than the others, in his 20s or 30s, proceeds to ask difficult questions, causing the others to join in and exasperate the nurse.

Later, Haakon enters a school staff room, where his fellow teachers are reading newspapers, doing paperwork or knitting. He pretends to shoot a china duck off the wall (it falls and breaks and appears to bleed) and talks to them about his morning. A colleague accuses Haakon of "spinelessness" for doing nothing when a gunman held up a bank he was in at the weekend. With increasing vehemence Haakon tries to explain about his visit to the hospital and what he feels about life. The school bell rings.

Haakon leaves the staff room and enters a classroom of boys. They pay no attention to him at first but continue talking. When the lesson starts, again finds himself trying to explain that the only certainty in life is that we are all going to die but not before our bodies slowly and painfully rot. Haakon concludes that we should make ourselves as awkward to kill as possible.

Haakon stands and a row of medals appear on his chest, followed by a sash. He holds aloft a silver cup before a laurel crown appears on his head.