Saturday, September 23, 2006

Children of Men

Last night Joe and I went to the cinema to see the film “Children of Men”. It was labelled as sci-fi simply because it was set slightly into the future, but there wasn’t much in the way of science to it. It was quite a depressing view of the future. Apparently women have lost the ability to reproduce, though no explanations are given as to how. Society falls apart and Britain seems to be the only part of the world where there is some kind of structure. Illegal immigrants flooding into the country looking for some kind of hope are herded up, caged and transported to refugee camps.

Into all of this a baby is born. You would think that the birth would be celebrated but because it is not born to a white British couple, but a black refugee, everything has to be done in secret.

There is a high body count, lots of blood and lots of swear words. Not much in the way of humour, not much in the way of kindness and compassion – except from some of the people in the refugee camp. It was a hard film to watch in that every bad character trait that the human race of capable of demonstrating was present! There was no Dunkirk spirit. No sense the “we are in this together and we will triumph!” It seemed like the lack of children brought out the worst in people. Knowing that the human race was dying out – they were not going to go with dignity and nobility, or a stiff upper lip!

So much seems to be just below the surface in life and the film says that it does not take much to strip away the veneer. I suppose the death of the human race and the fact that no babies are born is more that “not much” – but what is on the inside inevitably finds its way to the surface.

I was reading earlier on in the week that what condemns a man isn’t what goes into a man, but what comes out of his heart. The Pharisees were pretty much of the thinking that as long as the outside looked fine, what went on in the inside was of no concern. As long as they kept the traditions – tithed their herbs, washed their hands and turned up on street corners praying – it didn’t matter that inside they were seething with envy, or resentment or unforgiveness.

Maybe that is the problem with a world without children. Jesus says “Unless you become like little children…” – if there are no children, where are your role models? Too quickly we grow up and forget what it is like to be a child. If we don’t have children around us to remind us how we should behave – then we are in trouble.

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