Children of Men and a Plural Messianism

Children of Men (2006) presents an apocalyptic narrative in which the hope for redemption relies on the formation and expansion of new communities. Director Alfonso Cuarón invents a realistic, modern Armageddon by playing on contemporary fears about environmental destruction, nuclear warfare, terrorist attack, and the sense of cultural loss that accompanies rapid globalization. The film relies on Christian theological symbols to propose a new kind of messianism – one in which many messiahs will collectively restore human sacrality and fertility by dismantling rigid systems of social control. By envisioning the apocalyptic world as one that dehumanizes outsiders, Children of Men is able to merge religious messianic motifs with a cultural critique of political borders and ideologies of exclusion.

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