The best science fiction functions as allegory, forcing us to look at contemporary issues from a different perspective. ‘Children of Men’ ranks among the best.
The film explores a wide range of issues: the environment, racism, xenophobia, and what it takes to tip a free society over into a fascist state. While most of the world has descended into violence and chaos, Britain maintains order by focusing the people’s anger on an arbitrary target: immigrants. Recent refugees and longtime citizens alike are rounded up and herded into ghettos and internment camps while they await deportation. The parallels to both Warsaw and Guantanamo Bay are disturbing.
In the midst of this despair, the baby serves as a small reminder of our common humanity. At one point a terrorist radical stops shooting, looks at the baby and says, "I’d forgotten how beautiful they are". The sight of it knocks the wind out of him.
‘Children of Men’ is so astonishingly detailed that it warrants multiple viewings. I look forward to buying the DVD.
(for a differing opinion, check what Murray Townsend said in the Champion)