I just finished watching Children of Men, an action film directed by Alfonso Cuaron that is loosely based on P.D. James’s novel The Children of Men. The film was released in 2006 and is set in 2027.
The film came out shortly after the events of 9/11, the start of The War on Terror, Hurricane Katrina, and during the Mexican Drug War. With that being said, I see the main theme being hope. The entire world, except for the United Kingdom (which surprised me since America always tries to be seen as the most stable), is collapsed, and is sliding further downhill due to the death of the youngest person in the world (18 years and 4 months).
The main conflict presented is world-wide infertility. Which I originally thought was a problem only in males, but later started thinking it was an issue with women. One of the guys trying to steal the child expects the baby to be a boy (which is why I thought the fertility issue was with men) but when he finds out the baby is a girl, the look on his face made me think something entirely different. This pregnant woman is basically the silver lining to the potential downfall of human kind.
It was also pretty hard to miss the… anti-immigration vibe… coming from this film. All I could think about was/is how America reacted when there was a huge influx of immigrants crossing the Mexico-American border. In the film, the immigrants are treated basically like animals. They are seeking refuge, but put into camps (similar to how the States treated Japanese people during the bombing of Pearl Harbor). This film took everything wrong with out society and slapped me in the face with it. It also glorified Christianity. The people seen as terrorists that protect the refugees, they’re called Fishes. Fish are Christian symbols. And being infertile and Kee becoming pregnant and not knowing the dad? Screams Virgin Mary to me!
To better connect to this class, in my opinion, the movie is pretty much saying it’s obviously woman’s fault for the downfall of man due to the original sin of Eve and thus becoming infertile and unable to reproduce. The baby is expected to be a boy because he’ll be able to pull his weight better than any infertile woman since most people assume that all women are good for is reproducing. I appreciate the use of multiple cultures in this film. It shows that not just one race/ethnicity is subjugated to such horrible conditions and that even great nations can fall. I loved that Kee was not white. Some people may disagree, but I think it was empowering showing that a person that isn’t white can do great things.