Being Human

Synopsis: Five bittersweet vignettes that span the entire human history about five different men, all called Hector and played by the same actor (Robin Williams), who find themselves at a critical juncture in their lives. In prehistoric times, Hector lives in peace with his wife and their little son and daughter in a cave on a quite uninhabited island somewhere in the north. His world is shattered when a group of foreign pagan raiders led by a young chieftain and a somewhat pacifistic priest arrive there. In Ancient Rome, Hector is a loyal well-treated slave of Lucinnius, a somewhat naive big trader with political connections. When his latest shipment fails to arrive and the local corrupt governor Cyprion refuses to lend him money for his further endeavors due to bad omen that a professional soothsayer saw while reading the future from a chicken liver, he is ruined. To make things worse, just as Hector plans to ask his master for freedom and elope with his master's female African slave Thalia, L
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Bill Forsyth
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
 
IMDB:
5.4
Metacritic:
33
Rotten Tomatoes:
50%
PG-13
Year:
1994
122 min
275 Views


1

[female voice]

This...is the story of a story.

Once upon a time,

there was this...

story,

and the story

said to itself,

"How shall I begin?"

[male voice]

Try the usual way.

What, in the dark?

With a man and a woman

and a story that's

still to tell itself?

Well, you've got

to start somewhere.

Say, "Long, long ago"

or "Far, far away"

or just "Once".

That's good.

"Far away"

so you know the place

is close

to your own heart.

"Once" is nice,

so we know

it always happens.

Hmm.

Once there was this...

hero.

Some hero.

Some man, then.

Any man.

Say, a man, a woman,

and some children.

Don't forget the children.

What's he doing now?

Still building the fire.

Hiding, you mean.

He's scared of us?

Some dad, huh?

Ha ha...

Well, it's been four years.

He's getting fat.

[giggling]

So what's in the story?

A man on a beach

all washed up.

A shipwreck.

A heartbreak.

Freedom?

Betrayal, regrets,

old shoes,

a crust of bread,

a bunch of roses.

Could be my story.

Anybody's story.

A journey.

A long, long journey.

Yeah. That's the story.

A long, long journey to...

where, exactly?

[giggling]

Go home!

Go on.

[female voice]

Once upon another time...

so long ago, nobody

had got around to caring

whether the world

was round or flat...

there lived--in a cave--

a man, a woman,

and some children.

Grr...

Grarr!

Dada, look.

Oww, ow!

[sniffling]

Inside the cave,

it was as safe as...

houses.

And every day, they awoke

into the only world

they would ever know.

[children laughing]

Stay home.

Dada's hunting.

Go.

Dada.

No.

Go home.

Go.

Maybe if the man knew

the whole story,

this very well

might have been different.

But this seemed

a morning...

like any other.

[distant voices]

[laughter]

[shouting]

[speaking barbarian language]

[shouting]

Go!

We go!

Move!

Arrows.

Up the hill.

Beach.

No. They're down there.

I saw them.

No. Other beach.

No. Up the hill.

Can't.

Up hill!

You're wrong.

Oh, you're wrong,

you're wrong.

Shut up!

[shouting]

Go!

Ma-mama!

Leave me!

Go on!

Don't lose the children!

Come, dada.

I get food.

Now, stay here.

No noise.

Don't move.

Dada...

Don't cry.

Shh.

Dada...

Dada, come.

Don't leave.

[voices]

[speaking barbarian language]

[laughter]

[voices]

Of course the man

had heard the stories

of the wandering men,

the ones who came

and took everything.

A story to frighten

his children with.

But up till now,

that's all it was to him--

a story.

[moaning softly]

Yaaa!

Mine!

Mine!

Yaaa!

Yaa!

Yaaa!

Yaaa!

[laughter]

Mine!

Mi--

And they all turned--

at a loss--

to the priest for guidance.

He said,

"Look up there.

The stones.

We should surely pay tribute."

With these men,

suddenly everything

was out of kilter.

As they led their captive

by the rope,

even the priest was hoping...

when they got there,

he'd somehow know...

what to do.

[speaking barbarian language]

And the poet was already

making up the story

of this strange day.

Not mine.

Not my stones.

The leader stared hard

at these stones,

thinking

till his brain hurt.

Was it to make the sun work?

Was it supposed to be

one man over,

one stone on top, or what?

[shouting]

Huh?

Oss.

Oss.

Oss.

Oss?

Uh...

Oss!

Oss.

Oss.

Schtorek...

garre.

Dada.

Dada?

[speaking barbarian language]

Dada...

Dada...

Dada.

If the world is round...

you could still fall off the edge.

No. It's not round like that.

It's round like...

this.

You believe everything

that Greek tells you?

Where are we, then?

Rome must be in the middle...

here.

So we must be out here...

somewhere.

Right. Another time,

there's this man,

and he had a woman

and a child and a bed,

but it was not his bed...

not his child...

not his woman.

Everything he had,

even his smallest humiliation,

belonged to his master.

[man]

All must stop, Lucinnius.

No sign of the ships.

Bad omens, Hector.

Bad omens.

Everything's gone wrong

since the earthquake.

I knew that it was a sign.

The gods were trying

to tell me something.

I think the gods were

telling everybody something.

What could be worse

than to be a slave...

unless...

it's to be a slave

to a foolish master.

Bad omens, Hector.

Not an omen, an accident.

It's a bad omen.

An accident.

Get me something to eat.

Spoiled his day,

meeting your old man.

Been avoiding him all week.

The big bit.

Not the big bit.

His ships have gone as well, we heard.

What have you heard?

Last night. Nepos knew.

Pirates.

They're sunk, he reckoned.

That could finish him, eh?

This is the worst it's been.

He'll be up for sale before

you know it. Ha ha...

Will he lend you the money?

He was honest about it.

He said so plain, simple,

No.

That's a problem.

He didn't want any rope?

No.

And the ships have gone. I know.

I told you?

No.

But you knew?

Yes.

Who told you?

Julian's men.

Who told them?

Nepos.

Then Cyprian knows already.

He'll want his money back, too.

You get a chicken and

fetch Hermas the diviner.

Are my ships from Sicily still afloat?

No, no.

Offer the grain first.

Sprinkle some on the altar.

Making another sacrifice, father?

Shh.

Leave us alone.

And we can't ask the gods

specific questions.

It's a gentle, probing inquiry.

General questions.

Well, let's see.

General answer--

No.

What do you mean?

The liver says no.

Do it again.

I want you to do it again.

Is it the gods' will

that Cyprian...

be well-disposed towards me...

in the future?

Doing it again

means another chicken...

and another 15 sesterces.

I'll have my first 15 now, please.

And, uh, that's 2 for the chicken.

It was our chicken.

Oh, yes. Of course. Sorry.

It's all right.

Cyprian loaned me half a

million to fit out these ships.

I'm finished.

Just when things were going well.

I had plans for you, too, Hector.

In four or five years,

I was going to make you free.

You could've found your

family, brought them here,

everything.

Sounds good.

It does, doesn't it?

I shouldn't give up.

I can't.

I'll visit Cyprian...

first thing tomorrow

before the others get to him.

He's got to see reason.

I can pay him back...

sometime.

It's the only chance

we have, Hector.

Should I do it?

You must.

You're right.

I must.

Thalia,

I think I need one

of your massages.

Hector, you can finish the lamps.

Lower, Thalia.

Ahh...

lower.

Ahh...

[snoring]

[thunder]

Why does the thunder

always stay out at sea?

It thundered like that before

the earthquake, remember?

If he goes down, I'm

asking for my freedom.

He owes it to me.

And yours, too. We'd be free.

Then what?

What do you mean?

What we talk about.

We talk about going home.

Yours is that way...

mine is that way.

Your family's that way.

I made that up.

I don't know where they are.

We can't talk about families anymore.

It's been too long.

It's what you talk--

We talk about it

because it can never happen.

It's just you and me now.

Save your breath for

blowing in my ear.

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Bill Forsyth

William David "Bill" Forsyth (born 29 July 1946) is a Scottish film director and writer known for his films Gregory's Girl (1981), Local Hero (1983), and Comfort and Joy (1984). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Being Human" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/being_human_3847>.

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