Visceral…

Jinny and I had a nice little date night tonight. A pleasant walk, some ice-cream from the local shop (a wonderful woman who sells right out of her house) and a movie. The movie was Alfonso Cuaron‘s Children of Men, a near-future drama/action film (generally called sci-fi, but the label doesn’t fit here in my opinion). The premise of the film is that in the year 2027 no children have been born on the whole planet for about 18 years. In Cuaron’s vision of the future the political and social strife present today in much of the developed and developing world has been drastically exacerbated by the progressive realization that this is the last generation of humans the world will ever see.

The film has received mixed reviews and I know people who have loved it and hated it. I don’t know that I loved it, but I do think it was very good and occasionally brilliant. What this film provides better than anything is an immediate and visceral experience of political and cultural conflict. All of this comes to a head in the climactic confrontation between government and rebel forces. That sentence may sound cliche, and certainly a plot line like this in the hands of a lesser director could have been badly botched, but in this case I really felt that this moment allowed us as viewers to experience what it might mean to be on either side of a violent ideological conflict. There’s also a fantastic moment where we glimpse the great wonder and the great absurdity bound up in being human, but I won’t spoil that bit (it was my favorite part of the film). This one is definitely worth a try.

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