By Tracey Daway
The film “Children of Men” was released in September 22, 2006. Aside from the fact that it was the financial flop, nothing else about the film was a disappointment. The film takes place in England in the year 2027, 18 years after a worldwide infertility epidemic has made human reproduction impossible. This no doubt led to global unrest and a refugee epidemic in Britain, which also happens to be the one of the last functioning governments. In response to the recent terrorism and uprising the United Kingdom has become an authoritarian regime.
In life, at times to see the bigger picture we must retrace our steps, look back and break down things from the end to start. At the end of the film, Theo (Clive Owen) is seen leaving on a boat with Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), he reveals to her that he is shot and has been bleeding out for an unknown amount of time; clearly he is going to die. Throughout the film he has been headstrong and hopeful and resilient in spite of everything going on around him. He was a symbol of perseverance, it can be said that he represented the hidden hopes of the people, the fear and rebellious outward nature tucked away their true feelings for their global situation. However, the significance of the hopeful Theo about to die at the end, sort of seals the newborn’s fate, the baby will live on be the next symbol of hope in a hopeless world. All is not lost.
Alfonso Cuaron, the Director of the film employs his habit of long shots in this film, it gives a sense of heightened realism. This makes it easier for viewers to connect to the scenes an feel the emotions conveyed, the anguish of the people and the confusion and misery.
Also, it’s important to note that an underlying subtexts in this movie is religion, it is not clear to me whether it is pro or anti religion but there are religious themes. Faith was a key factor in the activism Theo and Julian had a part in during their youth. The Bible contains a list of stories about people needing salvation; Noah and the Flood, Moses freeing the Jews, Jesus dying for humanity to save us from the burden of our sins; we can parallel this to “Children of men”. The world requires redemption yet again, as women have become infertile and society is run by a dour authoritarian regime. In the beginning we meet Theo, he is cynical and apathetic, like many others he has becomes a product of the current society he dwells in. Theo’s name is important, it is Greek in origin and translates loosely to “relating to God or deities,” but he seems to be just the opposite of this when we first meet him. Hopeless, weak, feeble and fearful running and cringing from violence. However, as the movie goes on his character develops quite a bit to where we see him finding himself and his strength when he becomes responsible for getting pregnant Kee safely Tomorrow. Kee’s name is ironic because she turns out to be the ‘key’ to humanity’s survival. When Theo asks who is the father of Kee’s child, she at first jokes that she is a virgin, but then answers that she isn’t sure who the father is. While this is a reference to promiscuity, it also recalls Jesus, who had an unknown and unearthly Father. In this scene, Theo plays the protecting Joseph to Kee’s Mary, with that unborn child being a new Jesus, the savior of the human race.