About most of Children of Men.
The film is not necessarily a paean to parenthood and women’s often twisted role in it (piny’s thoughts regarding the fate of children and mothers in our own world are very spot-on nonetheless, please read them), I don’t think.
I saw infertility as a mere catalyst for the monstrosities that are portrayed in the film; the foundation of evil was laid long before, the world was “fucked” way before infertility set in. This becomes particularly obvious when the so-called anti-government “activists” are revealed to be opportunistic, violent blockheads beneath their self-righteous moralizing. An activist who truly cares about aiding the first woman to fall pregnant in 18 years is shot in the head by her own ideological compatriots.
There is a lot of potent symbolism in the film; from Kee’s joke about being a “virgin” (she actually slept around quite a lot, which is such a big no-no in most Hollywood boardrooms), to the fact that the gender of the first new baby is female, to the Abu Ghraib-like black hoods on the heads of detainees (“V for Vendetta” also had this).
One thing that will inevitably be criticized in a film like this is the potent image of the pregnant woman, and how tired and overdone it is. There is something to be said about that. But there is also something to be said about human biology; the pregnant woman is important because the baby inside her is also important. A man doesn’t carry the baby inside him – although he provides one-half of the effort to conceive – he’s not the one lugging the “miracle baby” around for nine months, or giving birth to it, or breastfeeding it. The image is tired, and potent, because it relates first and foremost to the nature of human beings and their reproductive capabilities. The contextualizing of pregnancy is the stuff that comes later…
Anyway, my point is, I like earnest, sprawling, messy movies like this. I think they can only be sexist by virtue of the world we live in – I don’t think that they are intentionally targeting women in all the ways that conservative “action groups” target us.
Piny is right though, it is, in a way utopian; but only halfway so. Just like our best laid plans.