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Norweigen director Hans Petter Moland makes his feature-film debut with the war drama Second Lieutenant. In Norway during 1940, Thor Espedal (Espen Skjønberg) retires from the Merchant Marines with hopes of finally spending time with his wife, Anna (Rut Tellefsen). When the Nazi Germany prepares an invasion, he is forced to enlist again as a military leader.
Because of his age, he doesn't get on with the other soldiers at first, but he wins them over with his bravery. He takes over for the captain Bjelland (Lars Andreas Larssen), and is joined by socialist Krogh (Bjørn Sundquist). who had previously fought in the Spanish Civil War against the Fascists.
The conclusion finds the Resistance fighters ambushing a German station and capturing over 100 soldiers.