“I Want To Be A Soldier” is the story of Alex, an average 8 year child who develops a morbid fascination for images portraying violence. He starts to have communication problems with his parents and other children at school and becomes withdrawn, inventing two imaginary friends, Astronaut Captain Harry and his alter ego, Sergeant John Cluster..
When his mother gives birth to twins, Alex is unable to deal with the situation, feeling lonely now that his parents lavish all their attention on the babies. Hurt and betrayed, he uses emotional blackmail to persuade his father to grant him his dearest wish: a TV set for his bedroom.
Through Television, Alex discovers an exciting new world… He is fascinated by everything he watches. He becomes obsessed with images of war and violence. Gradually his wish to become an astronaut, encouraged by his imaginary friend, Captain Harry, is replaced by a desire to become a soldier under the malign influence of his new imaginary friend, Sergeant Cluster, an American soldier who seems to have stepped straight out of a war film.
In his own imaginary world, Alex becomes a soldier. A child soldier of an imaginary army…
John Cluster teaches Alex that violence is the answer in ALL situations. A way of life. In times of both war and peace…
At school, a teacher asks her pupils to write an essay about what they want to be when they grow up. Alex entitles his “I want to be a soldier”. This is when he starts to pick on his best friend Max, aided by David and Rodri the class troublemakers. The teacher is concerned about Alex’s behaviour and suggests his parents take him to a child psychologist. The therapy seems to have a positive effect on Alex who responds to the doctors suggestions and tries to change his behaviour.
In the meantime the situation at home deteriorates when tensions rise between his parents. Their constant arguing and lack of attention towards Alex drives him to be influenced by the teachings of the sadistic Sergeant John Cluster. When his parents make it clear that they intend to go their separate ways Alex becomes distraught and loses control.
He teams up with David, Rodri and Sergeant Cluster to unleash his anger on Max. He beats him up in the school toilets leaving him bruised and crying. His imaginary friend Captain Harry tries to stop him as Eric, Max’s older brother, arrives on the scene and involuntarily stabs Alex in the chest. At this point Alex’s mother arrives to find her little boy covered in blood.