Various clues in Children of Men point towards the fact that no children are left in the futuristic world of the year 2027. For some unknown reason, women are infertile and can no longer procreate. The director focused on many aspects of visual design to emphasize how there are no children in this future world.
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The youngest person in the world was only 18 years old, but was murdered for a selfish reason. When the newscast talks about it, they portray him to be only a baby, showing only a shadow of his face and a picture of him as a baby in the foreground on the screen. The people watching the news clip seem solemn, hopeless and depressed. Many of the people in the crowd look older, in their 60’s. The youngest people in that first crowd seem to be in their 30’s. People began sobbing as the newscast stated how old the boy was, down to the minute.
Outside, many billboards and other places with advertisements show medicines for legal suicide. Pollution is very obvious, as if people have lost hope to the point of neglecting their world. What is the point, if no one will be left to inherit it? Those advertisements, the pollution, the hopeless faces, and all the different vehicles in a real street help make this world seem believable.
A different scene shows the different regions of wealth and poverty as the main character is traveling to a mansion. In the poor section rickshaws drive around among other rusty, older cars, cheaper cars and red buses. But as he gets closer to the mansion, expensive and fancy cars show themselves, and there is the changing of the guard, with Hyde park on the side. All of these effects assist in making the world have verisimilitude.
A religious scene on the way to the mansion shows activists wearing robes that say “repent” on them. The leader is talking about repenting for the sins that made God take away His gift of fertility. That is a very real idea of how some of the world would react to such a situation.
The mansion itself has smoke stacks with a balloon floating among them. The balloon is a large pink pig that could be considered recognizable. The band known as Pink Floyd has an album cover showing the same view. The album is named Animals. The songs in this album mention a world view that is bitter and bleak; hopeless (Animals – Pink Floyd). Animals is talking about bad “social-political” conditions apparent in the 1970’s in Britain. The symbolism fits perfectly, since this time period has the same expressions: bleak, hopeless and in need of repair.
Once inside the mansion, art and wealth is noticeable throughout. The statue of David is seen being guarded by a couple of huge, menacing dogs. But David does not quite look normal. His leg was broken, and then fixed with a rod. The quick fix makes the statue look almost pathetic, when it was originally supposed to be seen as perfect. This idea could symbolize how mankind is no longer perfect. Mankind is missing a very important piece; known as fertility. Both the statue and another piece of art seen in the mansion, a work by Picasso, actually do not seem as beautiful as they normally would. Society does not fit with those works of art anymore, as they are no longer as relevant or awe-inspiring as they used to be.
The owner of the mansion is asked how he feels about the current situation and how all of his stuff will only be inherited to one more generation. He replies with the fact that he knows the wealth he has will fade, and no more children will be here to have it, but he just refuses to think about it. This idea is displaying how most of the people in this world are reacting. That could be a big reason as to why the world is falling apart. The people, in their despair, had given up.
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