Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Children of Men - a film

Just yesterday I watched this film that got a lot of people's attention a few years back - perhaps in 2006 or 2007 - not that long time ago.

The story is of a worldwide crisis that happens in near future. Britain is the only country that tries to maintain a degree of law and order while the rest of the world is gripped but chaos and violence. London and Britain are host to a large number of refugees and immigrants most of whom are deemed illegal criminals and treated like exterminable vermin. The scenes of abuse of human beings by armed agents of government reminded me of Schindler's List. Citizens are subject to abuse alike as only a thin line - drawn at the discretion of a fascist police agent - separates them from the illegals. There are huge systems to contain the illegals - fences allowing for passage of citizens to the train stations while heckled by the immigrant mass and protected by their police. There are constant attacks and ambushes in the city and country - by the illegals and by actual guerilla underground bent on changing the political system that is stuck in the mode of war.

The worst thing that happens is that no children have been born for 18 years due to an inexplicable plague of infertility. The opening scene of the film is the death of the youngest person on earth aged 18 years and some months. In this situation, caused by nobody knows what, the population discovers a certain new decadent attitude of hopelessness and indifference to whatever the future carries. Anything that can be done - evil committed or good created - can not be bestowed on any future generation. Our actions have no meaning if their consequences are not transmitted to our children. We are destined to become silent dust. The game of life is a game of who will die last. This new principle causes all our acts to be devoured the indifferent monster of meaninglessness.

The protagonist is by accident induced to helping and protecting a young woman who is miraculously pregnant. She gives birth in an immigrant holding camp where an uprising breaks out the next day and she and her protector navigate a perilous war zone where troops battle an urban intifada reminiscent of both scenes from Gaza and Warsaw ghetto. He saves her and the child by bringing them within reach of a mythical 'Human project' operation where the young family will presumably be saved.

Watching this film I was reminded of the teaching of the Catholic Church justifying its opposition to abortion. In the view of the Church abortion is not just a murder of a human being - it is a crime against hope. Hope is all the possibilities of the future that arise from within a life of a human being. In this sense murder is also a crime against hope but in case of killing a fetus that component reaches its pinnacle. This principle is brought out with its full intensity in this film where murder and violence against humans is part of everyday life and it is visible how people get used to it and are hardly shaken by it because the light of hope extinguished all around.

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