I have always loved movies that can depict the future with some realism. “Children of Men” as well as another favorite, “The Road,” portray earth as a dark, dirty, barren land barely inhabited by humans after post apocalyptic war. The first time I saw “Children of Men” what appealed to me the most is that despite the entire population essentially living just to die, the film focused on issues that still persisted in society such as immigration, terrorism, and divorce. With women completely infertile, the mindset of each individual has to be that within the next 100 years, the earth will be devoid of human life, and therefore whatever I do today will amount to nothing. Point being, without the ability to have children, society has no purpose.
This challenged me to think about just how important the mothers with their cute little babies out and about daily are to our society! We grow up with the knowledge that as we live life, we will contribute in some way to the betterment of society –whether it is through our job, volunteering our time, or through having a family. If society suddenly can not go on any longer, life has very little purpose except to survive until one’s time comes. In “Children of Men,” I thought it was interesting the extent to which society was self destructing. I can understand why immigration and terrorism would still persist but in this society, no matter how much effort would be put into preserving it, which Britain was adamantly trying to do, it would be almost worthless. Instead of killing each other faster through conflict, my hope would be that if society ever reached this point, what is left of the government or world leadership would focus all of their energy on medically trying to aid society.
I assumed from the film that women stopped having children because of the state of the environment. However, I looked up some causes of infertility and I was surprised to find that when it comes to infertility between men and women, men are more likely to be infertile due to environmental exposure than women. If men are overexposed to elements such as heat, toxins, and chemicals (emotional stress can be a factor too), it can reduce sperm count by directly affecting testicular function or by altering the male hormonal system. Women’s infertility is more likely to be caused by internal problems dealing with the female reproductive system. So while women were the focus of civilization coming to an end in the movie, I think it is important to note that it could have just as likely have been the men who were incapable of reproducing.
The scene from the film that captures just how vital and precious new life is was when Kee and Theo are carrying the new baby down from the apartment building from which a battle is raging between the army and rebels. Amidst intense shooting and innocent death, all violence stops for a few minutes in which onlookers glimpse the first sign of life, and essentially hope, in eighteen years. Children in our society, no matter how bleak it looks, should always be seen as a symbol for the continuance of the future.