Children of Men

The last child was born in 2009. In 2027, most societies have disintegrated and the last bastion of civilization is Britain. A man named Theo finds himself charged with guarding a west African refugee, who has the only baby on Earth, to the coast so she can link up with "the human project", a mysterious group who will apparently help her. Unfortunately, Theo must weave his way through a web of lies and deceit among secretive groups, corrupt police, and a British government intent on expelling every foreigner, known as "fugees" (refugees).

This movie is based on a novel by P.D. James, and is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It is such a detailed and tragic vision of the future, and so convincingly portrayed, that you find yourself inside that world as you watch the movie.

To me the most compelling scene in the movie is when Theo rescues Kee and her child from a building in the refugee ghetto. As they leave the building, hundreds gaze at the baby with holy amazement, and then the British soldiers on the bottom floors and outside the building (who are laying siege to the building) stop their shooting and bombing to gaze on the baby as well. If only every child in the world today could have the same effect on violence... But the calm lasts only briefly, another shot comes from the building and the mayhem resumes.

I hope the odds of this specific dystopian scenario (100% infertility) are low. Still, with all the possible things that could go wrong with our world civilization, this story manages to deal with a lot of possible side effects that could arise such as xenophobia, totalitarian government, clanism, reactionary religion... And it does so in a lot more authentic way and with deeper portrayal of human behavior compared to other recent apocalyptic films like the Day After Tomorrow or Revenge of the Sith. Good scifi (and good comedy) is not really about the bizarre circumstances but about how people act in very odd circumstances, kind of imaginative anthropology. This film (and the book I expect, I will try to read it) definitely fits that bill.

No comments: