Thursday, September 10, 2015

Children of Men (and why it's my favorite movie)

This past weekend I watched the film Children of Men for probably the 8th time in the past two years. My girlfriend and I have a running list of films to watch and since she has never seen this movie and I have, we decided on it.

For those of you haven't heard of or seen Children of Men, the film is set in 2027 when infertility strikes the planet and women around the world are unable to reproduce. It's been over 18 years since the last child was born, and the world has literally gone to shit. Not only has the world stopped producing children, but much of the world is either at war or has collapsed. Britain, where the film is set, is the only functioning government. The country is dealing with a massive refugee crisis, with government propaganda everywhere telling the population to be vigilant and see something and say something. Seen throughout the movie are shots of people locked in cages, treated like cattle with dozens of police making their lives even more of a hell than it already is. The main character, Theo, who is played by Clive Owen, is a drunk living in Britain. After almost dying in a bombing, he is thrust into helping a young, pregnant woman, who is being moved by the Fishes, a terrorist group. The group wants to take her to meet with the Human Project, which is a group of scientists who are working to find a fix to humanity's most pressing issue ever. His ex-wife, who is the leader of the terrorist group, recruits him to get transit papers for the girl. Because of the complexity of these documents, Theo is accidentally pushed to come on the trip. Along the way, his ex-wife, Juliann, is killed by another member of the group who wants to use the woman's baby as a tool for a coming revolution. Theo learns of this and takes her to Bexhill, a large refugee camp on the coast where he finally meets up with the Human Project.

Wow, that was a lot. Through this film are heavy themes of dystopia and despair. These two are the reasons why I love the movie. I'm fascinated by the idea of the collapse of civilization. Not for the death of people, but how the world copes with such calamity, and how nature begins to take over. This can be seen with the schools that are
abandoned because of the lack of children. As for the world coping, in Children of Men, it is barely hanging on. For example, the United States, after having nukes dropped on the country, is embroiled in a civil war. One of the most powerful nations in history is turned to nothing.

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