Truly Human (Danish: Et rigtigt menneske), certified as Dogme #18, is a 2001 Danish drama film written and directed by Åke Sandgren, and starring Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Peter Mygind, and Susan Olsen [da]. Produced by Lars von Trier's and Peter Aalbæk Jensen's company Zentropa, the film was created following the Dogme 95 rules, and is experimental in style and narrative.[1]

Truly Human
Et rigtigt menneske 2001 Åke Sandgren poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Et rigtigt menneske
Directed byÅke Sandgren
Screenplay byÅke Sandgren
Produced byIb Tardini
CinematographyDirk Brüel
Edited byKasper Leick
Distributed by
Release date
  • 27 April 2001 (2001-04-27) (Denmark)
Running time
94 min.


A contemporary fable about an invisible man who is given the chance to become a real human being. "P" is an imaginary character in the mind of seven-year-old Lisa. He lives behind the wallpaper in her bedroom. One day the house is demolished and he emerges from the rubble. With no language or identity he sets out into the human world, ending up at a refugee centre. This is the start of the account of "P's" dramatic progress through decline on his way to become truly human.[2]



The film uses a Kaspar Hauser-like fantasy premise to tell a modern-day story that deal with sensitive issues like racism and immigration with a sharp edge to it.[3]


Nikolaj Lie Kaas won the 2002 Robert Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role as P.[4]


  1. ^ Andrew K. Nestingen; Trevor Glen Elkington (2005). Transnational Cinema in a Global North: Nordic Cinema in Transition. Wayne State University Press. pp. 51–. ISBN 0-8143-3243-9.
  2. ^ Mette Hjort; Scott MacKenzie (2003). Purity and provocation: Dogma 95. British Film Institute. pp. 79–. ISBN 978-0-85170-951-2.
  3. ^ DOGMA 95 im Kontext: Kulturwissenschaftliche Beiträge zur Authentisierungsbestrebung im dänischen Film der 90er Jahre. Springer-Verlag. 2003. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-3-663-07874-6.
  4. ^ Piil, M. (2008). Gyldendals danske filmguide (in Danish). Gyldendal. p. 468. ISBN 978-87-02-06669-2. Retrieved 14 June 2021.

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