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Monday, May 14, 2007

Children of Men

For Mother's Day, we opted to watch a movie about a future world facing human infertility. I'd heard a lot of good reviews for Children of Men, but also a lot about the violence, so I was hesitant to watch it.

Unfortunately, I didn't find it especially compelling. The futuristic scenario didn't ring true for me. The primary dilemma - human infertility - was never really explored much. The why of what happened wasn't explained, and only seemed to affect humans and not other mammals. So that was a basic problem first off. Then the secondary dilemma didn't make sense - foreign immigration. In a society where you have a constantly dwindling population, why is immigration such an issue? So much so that massive resources are put to rounding up and deporting immigrants? Again, it doesn't make sense. The movie didn't take the time to explain how things had gotten that way, and for me it doesn't logically follow. The two main characters were just propelled from one person to the next, almost always leaving the last person that helped them dead in the dust, in a society gone mad where all human life is cheap and disposable and western civilization had transformed into a police state. I happen to think that if human infertility became so suddenly an overwhelming problem, that our society is natalistic enough to put most of its resources into chasing down the reasons, experimenting with previously fertile couples, and protecting the remaining children through puberty in highly controlled environments to ensure that maybe whatever is affecting the adult population can be prevented with the next generation. So, police state, maybe, but not likely aimed toward illegal immigrants.

Grr. I wanted it to be a better movie than it was. I wanted it to be a Gattaca type movie where I spent days in my head thinking over the sociological and ethical issues. Instead, it was just people getting their arms blown off or shot in the neck or otherwise executed.


  • Thank you for saving me from seeing it.

    By Blogger tshuma, at 7:51 PM  

  • The real message in it is that this is a world without hope. One where people are burying themselves in the past, living vicariously through the few remaining children, and otherwise sticking their heads in the sand rather than face the sad truth that the human race is going to die. They're not going to do what needs to be done because they're not willing to make the hard decisions. They're too busy fighting over things that don't matter, political beliefs that don't matter, religious beliefs that don't matter...

    I mean think about the scene with the people being processed for the fugie camp... why are the guards even bothering to steal from the detainees? Because they're in denial. This is an entire culture/race in denial. Why care about human rights? It doesn't matter. Why care about polution or the environment? It doesn't matter.

    In an sense, the movie is a dystopic picture of the ultiimate extension of eschatalogical thinking... why worry about global warming or peak oil if you *know* the end of the world will happen in your lifetime.

    As such, it's a movie that's not about the future as much as a movie that's about now.

    As for the fugies... my understanding is that that was more clear in the novella this was based on. Civilization is in widespread collapse and the UK is all that's really left of the first world.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:53 AM  

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