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Children of Men is a 2006 dystopian thriller film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Children of Men is based on P.D. James's novel The Children of Men and stars Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. Set in 2027 where no human child has been born for 18 years and science is at a loss to explain why, Children of Men envisions a world that has fallen into anarchy and chaos as humankind faces the threat of its own extinction.

PlotEdit

Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

BackgroundEdit

The film opens in London in the year 2027, in a world in which no child has been born since 2009. Due to unknown factors, the entire human population of the planet has become infertile. Scientists are at a loss to explain why, and cannot solve the problem. The last ageing generation of the human race has lost hope for the future, and human societies have fallen apart. Old newspapers hint at devastating events which have occurred within the last twenty years.

Lengthy wars, some of them fought with nuclear arms have ravaged much of the planet; Africa has been devastated by a nuclear war and Kazakhstan has been rendered uninhabitable by Russian nuclear attacks. Global pollution levels have soared and have caused irreparable damage to the global environment. Immense terrorist attacks have ravaged cities on every continent, and major cities such as New York, Paris, Moscow, and Tokyo have been wrecked by acts of nuclear terrorism. As a result of these combined catatrophes, tidal waves of refugees have been created.

As a consequence of the ongoing global catastrophes, human infertility, mass civil breakdown, and endless terrorism from countless warring factions, governments across the planet have lost control of their populations. Refugees fleeing devastated nations have created a domino effect as human tides flee from one crippled country to another. By 2027, Great Britain is the only nation still in existence, due to its island geography and totalitarian government, which hold back the billions of desperate refugees. As the British media constantly reminds its population; "The nations of Earth have collapsed. Only Britain still soldiers on" Great Britain in 2027 is already a crippled and desperate nation. A nationalist government uses brutal and barbaric police state to keep Britain free of immigrants. The extreme right-wing government and its security forces has established a network of internment camps, where refugees are tortured and executed.

Despite its inhuman anti-immigration policy, even Britain is on the verge of collapse into anarchy. Outside the drab, polluted cities, the countryside is in a state of anarchy; trains and traffic travelling between towns are regularly attacked by violent criminals, while in the cities, public areas are frequently bombed by terrorist groups fighting against the totalitarian government's barbaric immigration policies. Other protest groups include ultra-nationalists supporting the government, foreign terrorist organisations seeking to bring down the government, and religious groups (including flagellants) claiming that human infertility is the result of God's wrath.

In the cities, people try to live normal lives, despite the increasing decay and decline as the ageing population of the last nation on Earth gradually dies off. Fertility testing is compulsory, with accompanying threats of shipment to the camps as a consequence of missing tests. Widespread apathy and depression has prompted the government to distribute anti-depressants as part of rations. A suicide drink is legally marketed under the brand name "Quietus". The British media is dominated by ultra-nationalist, state-owned broadcasting channels; "Radio Albion" soothes listeners with music from the carefree, pre-catastrophe years of the early twenty-first century, while the state television network reminders viewers of the fate of the other nations and encourages viewers to inform on immigrants.

Plot synopsisEdit

The film opens with the protagonist, Theo Faron (Clive Owen), seeing a television report that the world's youngest citizen, an 18-year-old, has been stabbed to death by a disgruntled fan. Faron, an alcoholic former political activist now working as a bureaucrat at the Ministry of Energy, is indifferent to the news of the stabbing. Seconds later, Faron narrowly escapes a terrorist bomb attack from "The Fishes", one of the terrorist groups fighting against the inhumane treatment of immigrants.

Shaken from the bombing, Theo visits his old friend, Jasper (Michael Caine), a former political cartoonist who now lives in the countryside with his disabled wife. It is suggested that her physical and psychological condition is the result of being tortured by MI5. Jasper grows cannabis (which is still illegal) and sells it to various people, including a corrupt police officer named Sid, who works at Bexhill-on-Sea, a nearby refugee internment camp.

Upon his return to London, Theo is kidnapped by The Fishes, and the leader of the group (Theo's ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore) offers him £5,000 in exchange for travel permits to the coast for a member of the Fishes, a young West African refugee girl. Theo visits his cousin Nigel, a high-ranking civil servant and curator of the "Ark of Arts", a secure depository for works of art rescued from the worldwide social meltdown. After a lavish dinner, Theo obtains the papers, and is told that as part of the process, he must travel with the girl. While members of The Fishes are driving the African refugee girl and Theo through a forested area, dozens of robbers swarm the vehicle, and Julian, who has been shot in the throat, dies. When the group arrives at a safe house, Luke is appointed the new leader of The Fishes.

After Kee explains how animals are abused by researchers seeking a means of reversing humanity's infertility, she reveals that she is pregnant. Miriam, an ex-midwife, confirms that Kee is eight months pregnant. Luke explains that The Fishes intend to take Kee to a rendezvous with a disguised hospital ship called Tomorrow, which will carry Kee to "The Human Project"; a benevolent group of scientists based in the Azores Islands, dedicated to reversing infertility and preserving humanity. Kee opts to stay at the safe house and give birth under the protection of The Fishes, and travel to The Human Project later.

Theo learns that Julian's death was an assassination ordered by Luke, who wishes to disregard the Human Project's scheme and use Kee's baby as propaganda for The Fishes' revolutionary movement. After Theo learns that Luke has ordered his death, Theo, Kee and Miriam escape to Jasper's carefully-concealed house. Miriam explains to the group that the rendezvous with Tomorrow (disguised as a fishing trawler) is scheduled to take place off the coast before the ship heads towards The Human Project. Jasper hatches a plan to smuggle them via Bexhill, using his corrupt police contact, Sid. Miriam explains how she witnessed the beginning of the infertility crisis, from the maternity ward.

While Sid drives them to Bexhill, Kee starts having contractions. She manages to conceal her pregnancy from Sid, who loads the three onto a bus bound filled with starving, terrified refugees. Upon arriving at Bexhill, the travellers see sadistic guards beat, torture, and execute terrified immigrants and burn them on vast open-air funeral pyres. As they arrive, Kee begins to go into labour, and her waters break as a guard mounts the bus. Theo and Kee enter Bexhill, a crowded, filthy ghetto where slum where a contact of Sid's who gives the two a filthy room . Kee gives birth to a baby girl, with Theo as midwife.

The next morning, The Fishes attack the Bexhill camp, and an armed uprising breaks out in the camp. While Theo and Kee try to find a smuggler's boat to take them out to the sea to rendezvous with the Human Project, they are captured by The Fishes. In an ensuing gun battle, Theo rescues Kee and the baby, and is wounded. When the combatants hear the baby's cry, soldiers and terrorists alike drop to their knees in front of the child. While Theo, Kee, and the baby are able to make their way to the smuggler's boat, Theo dies from his wounds. Kee cradles her baby as the Tomorrow hospital ship makes its way towards her.


Spoilers end here.


CastEdit

Principal Cast & Characters
Clive Owen Theo Faron
Julianne Moore Julian Taylor
Michael Caine Jasper
Claire-Hope Ashitey Kee
Pam Ferris Miriam
Chiwetel Ejiofor Luke
Danny Huston Nigel
Peter Mullan Sid
Charlie Hunnam Patrick
Oana Pellea Marichka
Paul Sharma Ian
Jacek Koman Tomasz
Philippa Urquhart Janice

External linksEdit

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