The movie Children of Men directed by the Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuaron embraces the elements of dystopian and science fiction thriller into a nearly personified version of reality. It revolves around the refugee crisis after the world faces infertility. In this dark, depressed and hopeless world, there ignites the hope of revival when a refugee becomes pregnant, and it comes to a specific individual to help her reach a safe place against the adversaries of irrational behaviour.
The movie is set in the year 2027, where the world is hit by a crisis of human infertility leading to chaos and henceforth Global depression, state collapse of governments. The United Kingdom remains in a critical state due to the fact that it is one of the last functioning states. This situation attracts a lot of immigrants to Britain in the hope of refuge from the atrocities against them. In keeping themselves safe from the so-called dangerous immigrants, the Government closes its borders and becomes a police state persecuting the immigrants using the military as a tool. These circumstances again welcome a lot of problems like terrorism and political instability. We see a focus on a radical organization called Fishes fighting for immigrant rights and a secret group of scientists known as Human Project working for the cure of this infertility crisis. The militancy and propaganda of the Government and Fishes put you in a dilemma to figure out which one of them is correct. On one side, the Government is trying to protect the interests of their own people, but they are killing off immigrants like they aren’t human. While on the other side, you find an organization fighting for those immigrants, which soon turns into a terrorist group. In the prospect of basic human decency, one would agree that the Fishes are better, and the emotion of the views would support them. But when you think about the ramifications of the mayhem which has to be sorted out by the Government which is low on resources, the mere idea of refugees seems a high price to pay for their humanity. The reasons to justify their ways might be illogical, but when their country is hit by such a catastrophe, there is nothing that seems to be reasonable. Whatever their reasons were, the use of weaponry and terrorism didn’t help them prove their points. For once, there could have been alternate methods to deport refugees or better consider them as humans and don’t persecute them. Fishes were more obsessed over politics and shattering the totalitarian dogma that they rejected the idea of peace and ceased to remember the struggle for human survival.
As the journey comes near to the end, they find themselves outside Britain in a strange and unsanitary camp filled with refugees where she birthed a girl child. Along with that the radicals insight violence and subsequently, a war is waged between Refugees and the Military. Amidst the war, there comes a moment of complete silence when the child is revealed to the Military and Refugees. The silence where Death meets Birth, and hope to overcome the crisis gives a comfortable peace to everyone. While they were being escorted out, the profound peace is broken by a blast, hence ruining the situation and restart the bloodshed.
The movie is perceived to be a dig at the immigration policies of various countries especially the developed countries with anti-immigration policies. Moreover, the movie tends towards a more political one rather than science fiction because it involves a focus on the problem of refugees rather than a whole set of problems in society. The movie sympathizes with the refugees but it neutralizes its slight left approach by shaping the Fishes as radicals. Hence, it does look forced but the product comes out to be moderate and more practical to the real-world situation. Somehow, the movie prophesizes that true and eternal peace can only be established by diplomacy and negotiation because true peace can’t be achieved by blunt force and militancy.
The movie is highly relevant in the present modern world where we have seen the immigrant crisis as a political tool in various countries. The movie is hailed as a reflection of the near future which shows the condition of poor and persecuted immigrants.
“Poor refugees. After escaping the worst atrocities and making it to England, our government hunts them down like cockroaches.”
This dialogue shows how cruel the government of England is while dealing with refugees. We are led to believe that English Government is cruel but there is another villain in the narrative which is the countries they are emigrating from. The future will be better for those immigrants and the world if establishment treat them more human. The real-life situation is similar and we hope that someday we have a tolerant and inclusive society.