As a dystopian film, Children of Men draws attention to fears that resonate not just because it may someday happen but because things like this have happened (not global infertility obviously, but genocide, internment, police states, etc.). The film provides no answers- to how humanity has gotten to this point, to the problem of infertility, or where/how to go from this point on. I think the lack of answers suggests that any number of things could cause an apocalyptic nightmare to occur but that is not the point; the film seems to hint that complacency is equally at fault and is not only the result of a police state regime but a determinate that contributes to the chain of events that lead to a state of chaos. Theo’s cousin expresses this in blunt terms, “I just don’t think about it.” but the notion is littered throughout the entire film. People walk past cages full of people on their way to work while crying over the death of Baby Diego (a man who most people don’t know and who sounds as though he is not the most upstanding person). Theo, being the hero, is guilty of complacency in everything he does. He is no longer politically involved and engages with Julian and the Fishes for monetary reasons rather than for any attempt to correct political injustices. However, the choice to act, the choice to get involved begins the process of restoration and produces hope despite the fact that there is no assurance in the existence or expectations of the Human Project, nor is there any confirmation that the child will not eventually be found as infertile. The film reinforces hope in action, even futile action while suggesting that complacency, although an attempt to avoid responsibility/involvement, is really stagnant action that permits these circumstances to come into being and remain. I would say that there are other contributors (fear, ignorance, panic, media manipulation, etc.) but I think that action versus inaction is underscored in every aspect of the film.
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