Children of Men

Children of Men Summary and Analysis of Part II: 17:00 - 48:00


The next scene cuts to Theo as a passenger in a car driving past some of the most famous landmarks in London, with evidence of fear, panic, and protest everywhere. He arrives at a high-security building where he is taken to his extremely wealthy cousin Nigel, an art collector living in an old art museum. They sit down for dinner and Theo fabricates a story about his fake girlfriend needing transit papers for her terminally ill brother. It is unclear whether Nigel agrees. However, the next scene changes to Theo in a bar speaking to Luke, telling him he was only able to get transit papers for two people, so he will have to accompany the refugee girl. The bar is at a dog-race (conducted the same way as a horse race) where Theo wins money on a bet on a certain dog.

He leaves and runs to find Julian on a particular bus where they agreed to meet, and gives her the papers. Julian tells Theo it is hard to look at him, because their son Dylan, who died young from a flu pandemic, had his eyes. She says she never got over it, but she lives with it, and they begin fighting. She says she came to him because she trusts him, and then kisses him when he asks what will happen to them after the task at hand is over.

They reach their destination and meet Luke, who loads them into a car and says he will drive them to the first checkpoint. In the car Theo meets Miriam, a middle-aged woman, and Kee, the young African refugee woman whom they are escorting to the coast. Theo asks Kee what kind of crime she committed to need to be smuggled out like this but no one elaborates. Julian tells stories about the old days when Theo cared about politics and was as big an activist as she is.

They joke around for a bit, but all of a sudden a flaming vehicle rolls down the hill beside the road and blocks their way. They are immediately assaulted by an army of fugees, and Julian is shot through the windshield. As she dies, Miriam attempts to bless her in some way. The cops arrive and they attempt to drive away, since they have Kee in the car, but the police makes them pull over and explain what happened. Luke gets out of the car and shoots the two policemen, and they drive away quickly. They lay Julian to rest in the middle of the woods, where Miriam blesses her again. In an attempt to deal with his grief, Theo takes a swig of something from his flask and cries for a few minutes before Luke comes back to get them with another car.

They drive to a Fishes safe house, where the Fishes are all gathering to vote for a new leader. Theo is given a room and changes his clothes, and Miriam comes to fetch him, saying Kee would like a word with him in the barn. Kee reveals that Julian told him about their child, and that she said that Kee should only trust him to get her to the boat, called the Tomorrow. Theo does not know what she is talking about and makes to leave, but Kee removes her clothes and reveals that she is pregnant. Because of the fertility crisis, no one has been pregnant in more than eighteen years, so this is obviously astonishing. She says she is scared and needs his help.

The scene cuts to a news report on TV, which says the leader of a terrorist organization, Julian, has been killed, and the police are attempting to identify the other terrorists who were with her. The Fishes gather to discuss whether moving Kee to the Tomorrow, which is the Human Project’s boat, is still the best option. They talk about how Kee’s baby will be the flag that unites them all, but Kee does not want her baby to be used for political purposes. Theo says they should make it public so that Kee can get the doctor she needs, but the Fishes say that the government will take her baby and not treat fugees like her any better. Luke tells Kee to stay here to have her child, and after they will find a way to get her to the Human Project. Miriam says it would take too long to get back in touch with the Human Project again. They tell Kee it is her decision, and Kee says she will have her baby there.

Unable to sleep, Theo looks out his window at night to see the Fishes bringing in an injured man on a motorcycle. He goes downstairs to investigate, and overhears Luke talking about how he orchestrated Julian’s shooting so that he could become leader of the Fishes and use Kee’s baby for political purposes. Theo goes to wake Kee up and tell her what is happening, and Kee and Miriam agree to leave with him. They sneak out as dawn begins to break, stealing a car. They are pursued by Fishes, who do not shoot because Kee is in the car. Just before the Fishes get to them, they manage to get away, and Theo takes them to Jasper’s house.


In these scenes, the relationship between Theo and Julian gains more depth as more is revealed about their past together. They had a son, Dylan, who died of a flu pandemic, and their differing reactions to his death primarily drove them apart. It is clear, however, that Theo still has feelings for her, based on their comfortable back-and-forth banter in the car and his devastated reaction to her death.

Theo’s history as an activist is also complicated, and accounts for some of the reason why he agrees to help Julian and the Fishes. The money he is offered alone cannot explain it, since this is an extremely dangerous process. Nor can his residual feelings for Julian, although they certainly have something to do with it. Although Theo retreated into his shell and tried to forget his past following his son’s death, some of his desire for activism still remains, and helping the Fishes is a small form of protest against the regime under which he now lives.

In these scenes, the audience meets Kee for the first time and learns her secret. There is Virgin Mary symbolism in Kee’s character. She is a young woman, unsure of her surroundings, who has miraculously become pregnant—in this case, Kee’s is the first pregnancy in eighteen years. Her eventual child will hold important significance in the world. She has a kind of purity that invites protection, and Theo feels drawn to keep her safe.

The Biblical symbolism in this film does not stop with Kee, however. The fabled Tomorrow ship—headquarters of the mysterious Human Project—is reminiscent of Noah’s ark. It represents a new beginning for humanity, and, if it truly does exist and Kee makes it there, will sow the seeds for the future of the species the same way Noah’s ark did in the Old Testament. Apocalyptic films such as this one are often heavy on Biblical symbolism—the sensational film 2012 serves as a good example—since the end of the world as a concept is frequently explored in religious scripture.

The Fishes wish to use Kee’s baby as a political object to rally people to their cause. They believe that if they remain in possession of the first child to be born in nearly two decades, they will gain more sway and can then manipulate the government. Both Kee and Theo object to the baby being used as a tool, however. In their eyes, this would pollute the innocence of childhood, a purity that has been absent from the world for so long. This also distinguishes Luke and the other Fishes from Julian, who is now dead. Julian was acting in the best interests of Kee, while Luke is only acting in his own best interests, seeking power above everything else. This splits the film’s main conflict from its previous two sides—the government versus the Fishes—to three sides, Theo, Kee, and Miriam versus the government versus the Fishes. Theo now has even more to fight against.