Children of Men: Study Guide

Study Guide: Children of Men

Director Details:

“Children of Men” is a 2006 dystopian science fiction film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Cuarón is a Mexican filmmaker known for his visually stunning and critically acclaimed films, including “Y Tu Mamá También,” “Gravity,” and “Roma.” “Children of Men” was adapted from the 1992 novel of the same name by P.D. James.

Historical Context:

“Children of Men” is set in a near-future world where human fertility has mysteriously declined, and no children have been born for 18 years. The film was released in 2006, at a time when the world was grappling with the consequences of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, and the global refugee crisis. The film’s themes of authoritarianism, xenophobia, and the search for hope in a bleak world resonate strongly with contemporary audiences.

Key Events:

  • Theo Faron is approached by his former lover, Julian Taylor, to help transport a young woman, Kee, to safety. It is revealed that Kee is pregnant, and her child may be the first in 18 years.
  • Theo and Kee are pursued by various groups, including the government, the military, and a radical immigrant rights group. They eventually find refuge with a group of sympathetic activists called the Human Project.
  • In a stunning long-take sequence, Theo navigates a war-torn city to transport Kee and her newborn baby to the Human Project’s ship.

Key Quotes:

“As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices.” – Miriam

“I can’t really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can’t remember when anyone else did either. Because really, since women stopped being able to have babies, what’s left to hope for?” – Theo Faron

“The world was stunned today by the death of Diego Ricardo, the youngest person on the planet, the youngest person on Earth was 18 years, 4 months, 20 days, 16 hours, and 8 minutes old.” – News Anchor

“It’s hard to know what to do, isn’t it? When faced with such hopelessness. But that’s when you gotta dig deep and find a reason to carry on.” – Jasper


How does the film explore themes of hopelessness and despair in a world without children?

What is the role of government and military forces in the film, and how do they contribute to the dystopian world depicted in the film?

How does the relationship between Theo and Kee develop throughout the film, and what is the significance of their journey to safety?

What is the role of technology in the film, and how does it both help and hinder the characters’ efforts to survive?

What is the significance of the Human Project, and what hope does it offer for the future?

How does the film address issues of immigration and xenophobia, and what is the role of the Fishes, the radical immigrant rights group?

What is the significance of the long-take sequence, and how does it contribute to the film’s themes of desperation and hope?

What message does the film convey about the importance of human connection and compassion in a world that has lost its humanity?