- Author(s): Marcus O’Donnell
- When: 2015-03
- Where: Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006) is part of the long stream of films that respond vividly to social crisis and the hovering threat of human annihilation and that have sought to reimagine the Judeo-Christian apocalyptic myth. But I will argue that it represents a unique take on this popular genre that I call the ambient apocalyptic. The film’s sense of pervasive crisis is not linked to a singular apocalyptic event and it redraws the tropes of many popular post-apocalyptic films. Cuarón intricately builds into nearly every scene referential signals to specific current political realities. He does this, however, without overburdening his film with either apocalyptic literalness or undisturbed certainty. He uses a layered referential style that seeks to create a kind of visionary realism.