The movie, Children of Men is set up in a chaotic world in 2027 where the human race has become barren, in the sense that women can no longer give birth. It shows the depths that humanity has fallen after losing all hope of the future since in a matter of years the whole race will become extinct. Theo Faron, the protagonist, signifies the current state of the world; hopeless. He is used to show that regaining hope and faith is the only way that the human race can learn to live and forego the current dystopian world.
Julian is used to show what she and Theo once lost, thus explaining the latter’s hopeless nature. Kee signifies the path to a better future as her name would signify. The main point of the movie is delivering the child to the human project, which is expected to pave the way for humankind’s redemption.
The movie’s main message is regaining hope.
The movie shows a chaotic London, which has lost its touch of humanity. Refugees are kept in cages and killed like animals in broad daylight. Most of them are just trying to get into London, which at the time and current state of the world, seems to be the best chance at survival. Residents have lost all hope of survival based on the way they act. The main strength of the movie manifests in the director’s presentation of the chaotic world to the viewer. He gives the viewer a third person perspective by allowing the camera to lag behind and linger in the background.
The raw nature of the visuals immerses the viewer into the nature of the world. The expertly crafted cinematography and attention to detail and deliberate camerawork is the highlight of the movie. The main weakness is the weak portrayal of men in the film since they are expected to be the source of hope in the world. The movie is quite interesting due to the strong ideals it portrays.
The film, Children of Men portrays a host of themes discussed in the course content. Nationalism is highly evident in the barren world. Most of London’s citizens live as if the world around them is not crumbling down right before their very eyes. They are unbothered by the sad nature of the world. Theo is abducted in broad daylight with other citizens watching as it happens. As Benedict Anderson, clearly indicates in his book about nationalism, the members of the smallest nation are often ignorant of the other people in their society yet in their mind, exists a perfect image of communion. The authoritarian government is the highlight of the dehumanization process indicating governmentality (Li).Tania Murray, explains that governmentality is an attempt by the authority to create what it would perceive to be the ideal living condition for its citizens. It declares all immigration into London illegal; refugees are treated with hostility and inhumanity by being killed in broad daylight and being subjected to mass deportations. Mosques, which are holy places of worship, are swarmed with soldiers showing the depths of surveillance people are facing.
Benedict Anderson clearly discusses the concept of nationalism in his book, imagined communities. Nationalism is often difficult to assign a scientific definition, however one can approach it by understanding the concept of nation. Every person in the world has a nationality; it sets them apart when placed in a new country. Nationalism can therefore be perceived to be the imagined political community in both an inherently and sovereign manner (Anderson). Members of the Muslim community in the film are angered by the fact that the government pays no respect to their places of worship by allowing soldiers to infiltrate disrespectfully. They gain a sense of self-consciousness and order the government to stop these acts of inhumanity. Numerous scenes in the movie show people who believe that dehumanizing refugees is wrong, fighting for their rights. Therefore, the role of nationalism was to try to regain the little sense of self-identity for the people, in order to give them hope.
Governmentality aims at shaping human conduct. Tania Murray refers to it as conduct of conduct in her article, “Governmentality”. The main purpose of such acts by the government is usually to ensure the wellbeing of its citizens. For a government to acquire total control it must act through violence as is highly depicted in the movie. However, the government in Children of Men fails to recognize that all power has limits in which it is confined to. Exceeding such limits causes a government to lose sight of its core purpose (Li). The government in London fails to protect its own people as the situation develops. They end up fighting the very people they are meant to protect. The level of surveillance impedes the right to privacy that people should have. Muslims are not allowed to conduct their affairs discreetly.
Most nationalism ideals are imagined in the idea that members of the smallest nation will seldom take notice of other people around them. Most people generally act in a manner that only places them at an advantage over other people (Anderson). The concept of nationalism is imagined due to the mental formulation of an image of the perfect communion. In the film, citizens of London live as if nothing is happening to the world they live in. They are seen living happily in parks. Theo is abducted in broad daylight as people watch. They do not care what happens to other members of the society as long as they are safe bringing in the concept that nationalism only invents nations where they do not exist.