Children of Men

Children of Men Study Guide

Children of Men is a British-American dystopian, science-fiction, thriller film directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón and released in 2006. The screenplay is loosely based on P.D. James' 1992 novel The Children of Men, though there are some key differences in plot and characterization. It takes place in the year 2027, two decades after humanity inexplicably became infertile and realized extinction was imminent. Society has devolved into chaos, and illegal immigrants from around the world seek refuge in the United Kingdom, which houses the last functioning government. Under oppressive immigration laws, Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is recruited to help a refugee girl named Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) reach the coast, all while concealing the fact that she is pregnant: the first pregnancy in twenty years.

The film was released on September 22, 2006 in the United Kingdom and on December 25, 2006 in the United States. Although the film had low earnings in the box office ($70 million compared to its $76 million budget), it received wide critical acclaim for its screenplay, cinematography, art direction, and innovative action sequences.

Children of Men was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing. Additionally, it was nominated for three BAFTA Awards (British Academy Film Awards), winning Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. It also won the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film.

Fitting with its Christmas Day release in the United States, the film explores themes of hope, faith, and redemption. It makes numerous political statements about public reactions to refugees and immigrants in periods of turmoil, with ruthless Homeland Security officers and scenes of refugee camps that strongly resemble torture establishments like Guantanamo Bay Prison.