I wasn’t sure I’d like the movie. I know I didn’t approve of the title--Children of *Men*??
Also, pre-viewing, I disliked that the trailer seemed to endorse the barely-under-the-radar preoccupation with fertility that seems to be everywhere these days. I know that my upcoming, bigheaded comment is exactly the kind of thing that’ll return to bite me in the ass someday when I really really really want to have my own biological kids and it turns out I can‘t--but I’ve always felt it wrong to go so crazy about expensive fertility treatment in an already tired and overpopulated world when there are orphaned and abandoned children everywhere in need of love.
Alright. Alighting off soapbox.
The movie is a very dystopic vision of our near future in 2027, where Britain is the last outpost of Western power and there has been a global failure of fertility--according to the movie, specifically female fertility--resulting in no children at all since circa 2009.
Britain stagnates on two levels because not only are there no children, but immigrants, the other way that a nation state aggregates citizens, are unwelcome--i.e. they are caged and deported or tortured and executed. There’s too much sordid hatred, guns, bombs, futility, despair, crumbling buildings and broken lives to really do any enjoying at this movie, but it does encourage thought and taking stock.
And bad dreams.
And sporadically, grim moments of nervous humor. You simply have to laugh when a young woman in a barn reveals the miracle of her coming baby and the first words the other character utters are “Jesus Christ!” Imprecation rather than an explanation, but still. Although, ultimately, Jesus Christ might be the key to the movie--not in a Christian sense, but in tapping into the way that his birth or anyone’s birth alludes to the vast and mysterious miracle of life and our choices about and within it.
The ending is supposedly uplifting, but I didn’t appreciate it. I was otherwise engaged in speculating about how awful it would be if I were caged and tortured and deported. In fact, I went on and on about this even after Big A valiantly promised to come save me, spring me, etc., and only really stopped when his eyes acquired a misty film. Whether that was from strongly imagined sadness at my loss or distress at my utter and exceptional idiocy--We. Will. Never. Know.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
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