The Decline of Society: Nazi Germany vs Children of Men Prt.1

When societies are thriving, the citizens of those societies are calm and collected, allowing for cool rational thoughts. However when societies begin to suffer and struggle, whether do to economic down turns, civil unrest, or another outside stressor, these calm and collected populations panic. Often in panic civil societies turned mod lose their ability to think rationally and compassionately. In conditions like these, harsh depravities can be seen towards man by man.  In instances in Nazi Germany during the 1930’s, or in the Darfur, certain groups  whether Jew or another ethnic group become the target  for all the fear and blame felt by other members of the society in distress.  For the Nazi’s the Jews, Gypsies, and intellectuals were blamed, and for the Sudanese Government it was the non-Arab citizens of Sudan.  “Children of Men” (2006) is successful in following the same trend as other stressed societies in finding a particular group to blame and punish for their respected countries misfortunes.

In “Then Children of Men” (2006) many similarities can be found between the story line and the depravities found throughout human history. In the film many different aspects are portrayed, including the isolation of the nation, minority groups being subjected to inhuman cruelty then being relocated into slum like conditions, as well as many other conditions that were an assault on the human condition, both physical and emotional. However the power of the determination of the will of man will often determine the road taken.

In the beginning of the film viewers are introduced to an already isolated Britain. Britain at this point has already started the persecution of the people who are not British citizens. These people were all foreign people in Britain, mostly refuges appropriately named “Foogies”.  At some point after the global down fall of civilization, the exact point in time is not directly revealed in the film, the British government declares all foreign people in Britain to be illegal. At the center of this round up initiative, lies its key to success; the support of the citizens who were not being targeted.  Similar to the Nazi propaganda campaigns of  World War II, propaganda  initiatives found in “Children of Men” (2006) utilized electronic billboards, flyers, and T.V commercials, all aimed at establishing a national unity against the targeted peoples. These add campaigns gave examples of “He’s my dentist. She’s my cousin.” types of testimonies that ended with a message “…it doesn’t matter; to hide, feed, or help an illegal is a crime.” From this sound bite heard as the main character Theo rides the train, it is known that regardless of social class, profession, or level of education; foreigners were illegal and therefore targeted. Basically the social, educational, or economic status of these targets was irrelevant; the only status that mattered was citizenship. These campaigns are in accordance with the Nuremburg Laws of 1935, which declared Jews to no longer be German citizens, segregated towns with “Aryan only” areas, forbade the marriage of a Jew to a Gentile, and started an assault on the legitimacy of Jewish owned medical practices, law firms, and other textile and manufacturing businesses (Carr).  Nazi restrictions were placed on all Jews, including prominent members of society such as doctors, lawyers, and merchants (Barkow).  Both the Nazi and British propaganda successfully criminalized their targets, gaining support for the national cause.

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