There is an irrepressible energy to Alfonso Cuaron. When we spoke on December 12, 2006 , it was as though he couldn’t get the words out fast enough when expounding on his latest film, CHILDREN OF MEN. And why not? There’s a lot of territory to cover from the extrapolation of an unsettling near-future with deep roots in the present, to putting his actors through herculean paces while filming impossibly long takes that involve explosions, extras, and intricate camera tracking is nothing short of breathtaking.
In a here-and-now where the primacy of children is given ample lip service by proponents of any and all social issues, it is refreshing, and not a little thought-provoking, to see in Alfonso Cuaron’s CHILDREN OF MEN, based on the P.D. James novel of the same name, a world in which this is actually the case. The awe and wonder elicited by the sight of the first baby born in almost 19 years, enough to stop the gunfire and other unpleasant manifestations of political differences, is a potent and arresting image for a present where partisans are more likely to incite mayhem in the name of the sort of world their children will grow up in, rather than sue for peace so that they might grow up at all.
As with the best speculative fiction, CHILDREN OF MEN creates a world at once familiar and alien, a world where present trends have come to full fruition and with a logic that can’t be denied. Cautionary tale and thriller rolled into one, it is a terrifying vision of the future, all the more gripping for ringing so true.