Archive for January, 2010

Children of Men

Posted in Review on January 16, 2010 by vegabro

Cloning, stem cell research, global warming. These are the biggest scientific discoveries of our day and depending on how we manage them, can be enormously beneficial or catastrophic to us as a planet and as a species. But in our age, as in the days of Galileo and Copernicus, the major blockade in the advancement of science, even in the face of the most logical and humanitarian solution, is society. Children of Men concerns itself with this conflict.

The UK in 2027 is split between refugees and citizens, the former of whom are very much discriminated against by the latter. This may be due to the fact that infertility has plagued a world which is unprepared to be the last generation of a our civilization. The Fishes are an underground organization that try to help the refugees attain equal rights to the citizens. So far their somewhat unorthodox and somewhat explosive political strategy had muddled up their point a bit and made them enemies of the state. And right as tensions are at their highest in this battle between the increasingly militarized government and the every day more ideologically dangerous Fishes, a refugee turns up pregnant. The Fishes find her first.

This could mean the world seen through human eyes may not end. All of the related chaos and killing will be over. A pregnant girl, Clive Owen awes, is a precious thing. But the Fishes would use her baby as proof of equality or even superiority over the government and as stated by the Fishes, the government would never recognize a refugee as the savior of humanity. The baby to these vying societies represents an idea as gross as a political tool for either of their causes. Neither of whose main goal is the benefit of society. They would rather fight to be the correct ideology than still exist in 50 years.

But there is hope for humanity, and that hope lies in the movie’s metaphor for progressive science: The Human Project, whose goal is to find a scientific cure for infertility. Clive and the gang are sent on a mission to go to The Human Project by a long haired, laid back, pot growing Michael Caine. And hopefully without sounding like one of those upper-middle class liberal rebel’s without a cause wannabe politico-intellectuals, this character embodies another issue that bogs down our political discussion: the legalization of marijuana. The point is, plain and simple marijuana does no harm long term or short and brings people happiness (and I guess makes your eyes hurt less). But the fact that our society has kept it illegal for so long should be a smoke signal that something is wrong. These are progressive (no actually not progressive, I’d like to use the word objective) ideas that Michael Caine aligns himself with. Ideas that would help society in spite of society. Ideas that The Human Project is based on. For science has no opinion, science just lives in facts and theories, not in morality or belief. And that is why in times of turmoil or anarchy, we should look to science to lead the way. Morals and beliefs can be corrupted, but facts never change.

In a world of Democrats vs. Republicans, Religion vs. Atheism, Religion vs. Society, Religion vs. Religion, don’t let one side or the other influence you, but base your decision on fact. The real battle is society vs. science and like every objective thinker, Clive Owen in Children of Men had to wade and fight his way through society to bring humanity’s last hope to The Human Project, science.