I finally got around to seeing Children of Men last Saturday. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it, if you can stomach gritty violence and are willing to be led through a vast, emotionally disturbing landscape. But be forewarned: it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (nor is it a first date movie).When I exited the theatre, I found myself caught in an emotional tension between the despairing realities of the world I live in and my need for hope; certainly, I became more convicted than ever of how much this world needs a Saviour.

Though tinged with a shred of hope at the end, the film is absolutely heartbreaking to watch. Set in the not-too-distant future of 2027, the movie quickly introduces us to a world suffering from infertility–there hasn’t been a human birth for 18 years. People are downright depressed by this drought of new life. Also, terrorism and violence are rampant; people are living in constant chaos, fear, and paranoia. The future is bleak; a suicide drug called “Quietus” has been developed and made readily accessible to anyone wanting terminal relief from their hellish existence.

But somewhere, amidst this hopelessness, is a miracle about to take place: a very pregnant woman about to give birth. As soon as we meet this woman, a social outcast, the film slips out of the sci-fi genre into a political action thriller. As I alluded earlier, the movie ends on a (faintly) hopeful note, but the odds of arriving there are daunting, keeping me on the edge of my seat.

I wept in certain parts of this film. In spite of the futuristic setting and extreme living conditions portrayed, the story and setting offered incredibly relevant and contemporary themes. I was struck by the fact that many people in the world ALREADY DO live in terror, chaos, and hopelessness. What keeps them going, I don’t know.

Along with some other things going on in my head these days, the movie is part of opening a can of worms that is forcing me to confront how I contribute to the social injustices in the world. I am finding that everywhere I turn, there is no avoiding the fact that how well I live is irresponsibly costly or at the unjust expense of others. This realization is a despairing thought. But more on this on another day.

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