The year is 2027 and the world is in disarray. The worlds developed countries have continued development, but perhaps for the worst. A child has not been born in 18 years. Infertility has spread among women on every continent and country upon country has fallen to mob rule, all except for Great Britain. The story line of Children of Men seems to be pretty simple. Infertility causes wide-spread panic and when a woman is found to be pregnant, it is up to Theo to save the world. However, hidden in the movie is a massive amount of political and social attacks. In this blog I am going to focus on the political aspects of the movie (maybe someone else can tackle social problems) Here are a few that I noticed.
In the opening scene of Children of Men, we are introduced to Jasper, which is brilliantly played by Micheal Caine. In this scene the camera pans around the surrounding environment taking us to Jaspers home. In the background, pro and anti-war memorabilia is held by degraded citizens. The signs read “war is not the answer,” and “Dont attack Iraq.” These are clear attacks on the Bush presidency, or even perhaps on The Blair Administration. They are actually the same signs made by antiwar protestors in America during prewar debate.
Later in the movie after rebel forces tell Theo (main character) that they no longer bomb the city, another political attack is seen. First a billboard reads “Report any suspicious activity” a sign that is very similar to the U.S Homeland Securities. This could be seen as a direct attack on America. These signs are there to remind citizens to simply report problems they find harmful to the community. however, when placed in such a dismal place, they signs seem to be more of a reminder of the torturous situation that the future brings. Also, the word “homeland security” is seen multiple time in the movie. It can be found on the buses that haul out illegal immigrants, and also on top of the cages in which detainees are kept. This word is very noticeable by Americans, and perhaps is used to say that we are too strict on our immigrant laws, or that we treat threats to America in a degrading manner. Either way, I do believe that it is an attack on America.
Perhaps one of the most interesting hidden scenes or motifs in the film is when Theo visits his cousin. Theo is there to get transportation papers for himself and Kee (the girl who needs to be saved). While there, Theo asks his cousin how he can handle everything bad that is happening. An eerie reply follows ” I just don’t think about it.” With further research I found out that his cousin is actually the Viceroy of England, which is very much like the President here in America. His reply seems to be yet another political attack on George Bush which was oftentimes accused of being isolated during the times of war and chaos.
Perhaps I am reading (or watching) too hard into the movie. Typically, movies are made based on what we know, or our history and past experiences. I think that Children of Men is a social issue that is caused by political problems. The movie is a clear attack on politics as a whole, and on more specifically on President Bush. Despite the politics that encompass the movie, it also contains emotional aspects that make you want to watch. I would recommend this movie to anyone. Just remember to watch for the things that don’t meet the eye and look for the hidden words, themes, and overall messages.