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Children of Men...'Nuff Said!
by Crystal O'Gorman

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Modern Parent is an upcoming e-magazine in which I write a weekly column.

Modern Parent is an upcoming e-magazine in which I write a weekly column.
Everyone that knows me, knows that I am all about everything baby, especially given the fact that I am a SAHM to 11 month old Michael and that I am a columnist for the upcoming e-magazine, Modern Parent. Needless to say, I was completely intrigued when my BFF Jessica Milicevic suggested that we watch Children of Men, a movie where the ability to reproduce is slim to nil.

In 2027 when the youngest person in the world is killed by a mob everyone grieves the loss of this 18 year old man's life, poignantly called Baby Diego. The world is a dismal and gritty place without hope for tomorrow, placing a realistic emphasis on the old adage that children really are the future. Amongst the violence and destruction, there is sight of hope as Kee, played by Clare-Hope Ashitey's belly grows round. The most unlikely candidate, Theo Faron—captivatingly played by Clive Owen—a money hungry, pessimistic, and self-centered government employee becomes her guardian angel as they fight against political agendas, try to hide her bump, protect the baby, and continue the existence of the human race.

I think the main reason this movie is so fascinating is because it takes on such a simple concept like the end of the human race and examines how people react when fear sets in. Unfortunately and to my disgust, most people resorted to killing each other than working together to make the best of it. The majority worked hard to find any means of domination, to feel empowered again; when in actuality, their loss of control was provoking their external need for control. This is why Kee was forced to go into hiding once she realized she was pregnant.

Kee and her midwife, Miriam portrayed by Pam Ferris, were connected with Julian—portrayed by Julianne Moore—a political activist and leader of the Fishes, an underground group fighting for freedom from the unjust discrimination Britain had for all people who weren't "imagine this" British—and I jest but truly they were rounding up immigrants like the Jews in
Julian and Theo have the relationship that saves humanity.

Julian and Theo have the relationship that saves humanity.
WWI, those poor yet brave immigrants, whom had traveled far to find a place that was not in shambles as their homelands became nothing more than a distant memory.

Julian needed to fly under the radar given her occupation, so she persuaded ex-husband Theo Faron to help her get Kee from one city to the next, given his political connection he was able to transport the renegade group without notice from the government—at least that was the plan.

Anyways, Julian is killed in transit and when Kee expresses to Theo that Julian says only to trust him, he obviously wants nothing to do with the situation; however, that evening he overhears other Fishes members plotting to keep the baby for their own political agenda versus Julian's desire to send the mom and baby somewhere they can live with protection—but in peace. At that point, Theo strikes out with Miriam and Kee in hopes to give this baby a chance to live without being used as a tool to empower a group whose purpose is merely to dominate and conquer.

This is an unfortunate twist yet when fear settled in even the supposedly do good-ers had an agenda more important than their message of peace and equality. I guess this shouldn't be such a surprise since they carried bazookas and machine guns in their back pockets like it was a driver's license.

While watching this movie, you will find many political inferences to the negativity in capitalism, the obvious negativity in imperialism and totalitarianism. You will also find religious symbolism due to the biblical associations to the end of time. Even the overall masculine agenda of society where women, children, and minorities are puppets only viable when manipulated to "his" specific needs leaves a lot to be said, but for now I want to talk about the positive side of this mostly dark film: one man was reunited with the opportunity to give a child a chance at life when his only son died not long after birth.

Now, you may be totally confused as to where I am going with this
And here's the hope of a new beginning!

And here's the hope of a new beginning!
but read me out. Theo and Julian were unable to make their marriage work after the loss of their child; their grief was interpreted in different ways and their inability to come to terms with this loss and their reactions caused the two to lead very different lives. Julian tried to find hope, peace, and opportunity by leading a group of supposed revolutionaries (Fishes) who desired to rebel against the fascist actions of the British government by helping immigrants from all other countries and nationalities who survived the destruction of their homeland, find a home in the U.K. Whereas, Theo lived a smug existence where long hours at work turned into long hours of self pity in the bottom of a liquor bottle. But alas, he was given an opportunity to make amends to the death of his ex-wife and son. Fortunately, he was able to overcome his own personal battles and use Kee's need for protection as way to right his wrongs and make his life mean something.

Many people lose the battle with alcoholism, drug addiction, or depression because they are unable to live up to the slap-in-the-face opportunities that life hands them. Like with Theo, out of left field his wife contacts him and he is put into this situation, this opportunity to excel and overcome. What separates the achievers and the backsliders?

I guess I would say the answer to that is also fear. The same fear that guided the majority to kill and conquer pushed Theo to protect and liberate. Therefore, what I learned from this movie is that fear is not always such a negative emotion. It may seem that way in the beginning, but if you are strong enough to accept fear and learn from it then you can overcome it; otherwise, you're no better than Mugabe, Gaddafi, or the Fishes provoking fear to cover up your own. I guess that old saying is true: two wrongs don't make a right.

From now on I will try to see fear as an opportunity. I won't fear fear, but accept it was a way to grow. I hope you can challenge yourself in the same way.

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The Big Picture
Every other Thursday

Using the Big Pictures as a bigger picture into the world around us, follow me as I explore this window of opportunity into other perspectives on life, love, and happiness. I will peel back the layers of fiction and movie making magic to show you the truth within. Sat Nam.


Other Columns
Other columns by Crystal O'Gorman:

Lessons Learned from Movies

Without Conventions in Waiting for Forever

127 Hours

Kid Movies

The Yin-Yang of Perfectionism and the Black Swan

All Columns


Crystal O'Gorman
I am a big dreamer from a small town searching for the meaning of life and using movies as a window of opportunity to understand the world around me. I remember working at the local, family-operated movie store as a teenager and being completely fascinated by the way movies bring the rest of the world to your finger tips.


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Crystal O'Gorman by clicking here.


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