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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Children of Men

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May 22, 2009

Movie Review Friday: Children of Men

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Children of Men (2006)
Available on DVD

Children of Men is a high-tension 2006 science fiction film set in dystopian 2027, an eco-apocalyptic time of worldwide violence and hopelessness triggered by the fact that the entire human race has been infertile for nearly 20 years.

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the movie centers on Theo Faron (Clive Owen), an apathetic British bureaucrat who gets drawn into a rebellion that could help save the species. Theo and resistance leader/former wife Julian Taylor (Julianne Moore) attempt to shuttle a secretly pregnant women to a group of scientists fighting to save humanity from extinction. The suspense builds as they move through the pollution-ravaged English countryside, evading a police state that holds the country together by demonizing (and brutally subjugating) refugees pouring into the country from every part of the world.

Cuarón makes deft use of long one-shot sequences, especially in action-heavy scenes, using steady-cams and CGI to create single takes lasting as long as 10 minutes. The decaying planet is strikingly portrayed through shattered cities infested with squatters, and brown plains scarred by toxic floes. One piece of graffiti scrawled across a crumbling facade reads, “Last one alive turn out the lights."

But where there is helplessness there is also the chance that we can learn from our mistakes and be saved. Rumors of the pregnant woman are a beacon of hope for everyone and proof of the indomitable human spirit. This film proves memorable for anyone who believes a better world is possible.

--Will Hawk

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