Rather than expository dialogue or narration, the film makes use of images in order to fill in its characters' and their world's history. For example, during Theo's first visit to Jasper's house, the camera pans in on the various newspaper articles and photographs that Jasper has collected. These detailed images tell the story of Jasper's career as a political cartoonist, of Janice's as a photojournalist, and of the infertility crisis as it unfolded in the world twenty years before.
The City of London
Many of the film's scenes begin with panoramic images of the city of London. This London resembles the one viewers are familiar with today in its architecture and layout, but the resemblance stops there. The London depicted in Children of Men is darker, dirtier, and significantly more foreboding. Everyone on the street wears dark colors and scowls, and the streets themselves are grimy with trash. The only splotches of color in this new London that Cuarón creates are the television screens, which are alive with propaganda against illegal immigration.
The Abandoned School
The scene at the abandoned school is rich in provocative images of forgotten toys, disheveled furniture, and schoolbooks falling apart, taking the typical image of a school that viewers have contrived in their minds and corrupting it. The image of Kee swinging on the swing set is also especially jarring, as in this moment, she herself resembles a child even though she is carrying one.
The film's shots of Bexhill, the refugee camp, resemble depictions of notorious prison camps like Guantanamo Bay or even Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz. The people living within are disheveled and hopeless, and the buildings that are meant to house them are falling apart, certainly not fit for living in. Bexhill stands in stark contrast to the movie's images of London, which, although certainly dirtier and darker than the London of today, is much more polished, habitable, and humane than this refugee camp.
Children of Men Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Children of Men is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Alfonso Cuarón, the director, paints a grim vision of the near future. His cinematography is very grey. There is a sense of hopelessness. The world is imploding because people simply do not care for a world without children. People simply just get...
A work of science fiction, this novel is set in a futuristic London, but not so far away that the reader cannot imagine it. A world without children is unimaginable.... for people to consider the end of humanity would lead to total despair. Thus,...
Children of Men literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the film Children of Men directed by Alfonso Cuarón.