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Children of Men

By Matthew Yglesias

"Children of Men"

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Late-breaking addition to the best movies of 2006. Various sources kept assuring me that I had to go see Children of Men. The problem: It was only playing in Georgetown. But I was determined. I walked to Georgetown and saw it. The matinée was weirdly well-attended since the federal government apparently gave people the day off for Gerald Ford’s funeral. The results are pretty neat and the technical execution is really superb. I had a great time watching it despite not-so-promising circumstances. Unfortunately, though it didn’t bother me at the time, the key developments didn’t really make a great deal of sense. Spoiler-filled discussion below the fold.


There’s not a single “gotcha” plot hole here, just a big string of weird choices. Choosing to keep Kee’s pregnancy secret makes perfect sense if you’re hoping to use her and her baby as a pawn for you anti-government political movement. Conversely, under the circumstances it makes sense that even the leader of an anti-government political movement might decide that Kee’s pregnancy is more important than the movement. What really doesn’t make sense, however, is to decide to entrust Kee to neither your underground political party nor the government, but instead to your ex-boyfriend who you haven’t seen in over twenty years and, in turn, to a secret international scientific cabal.

Absolutely no reason is given over the course of the film to make you think that the Human Project is in any relevant respect more trustworthy than the government and there’s certainly no reason given for thinking that it will in any way be more respectful of Kee as a person and a mother.

In a more nitpicky vein, combined with V for Vendetta we now have two films this year suggesting that Britain could maintain or exceed (check out the TV screens in Children of Men) current material standards of living even in the face of both a brutal internal crackdown on ethnic minorities and the near-total collapse of the world economy. Suffice it to say, things don’t work like that — it’s a medium-sized island whose economy is heavily dependent on international financial services and tourism.

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