Children of Men

Dreaming the Future in 'Children of Men'

Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 film ‘Children of Men’ is a text that explores the interplay of past, present and future on both personal and societal levels. Many characters in the film are obsessed with reiterating the past in an endless cycle of stagnation. In the case of Jasper’s character, this is limiting and pointless but can become dangerous and destructive, as in the case the British government who use nostalgia to maintain a level of control over a revolting populace and maintain the past at the expense of the future. In contrast, the fugitive characters who act in opposition to the government seem utterly destructive and disregard the ability of the past to inform and influence the future. They ultimately seem groundless and impotent rather than a genuine case of political activism. In the end, the film privileges the sacrificial characters who willingly choose to use their lives to further the cause of the human race as a whole, rather than maintain a comfortable status quo. The characters thus use their past to create a moment of presence wherein they are able to better mankind and enable the possibility of hope and future.

The film continually raises issues of nostalgia in the face of a future-less present. Many characters...

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