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Hollywood’s Violent Contradiction

Everyone bailed on me, so I went to the Victoria Gardens AMC and saw Children of Men by myself. In a way, I’m glad I did. This is a torrid, heartbreaking, unforgettable film. Director Alfonso Cuarón has crafted a bleak, dystopian near-feature ravaged by a plague of infertility. After 18 years of barrenness, a baby is born into this crumbling, incredibly violent, unforgiving world. We follow the steps of two people who seek to deliver the child, carry it to safety, and ensure hope for the dying Earth.

The film is grueling and relentless — well-deserving of the R-rating. But the violence only heightens the pic11478.jpgsense of the fragility of life. This baby must survive. But amidst the mobs, bloodshed and rampant evil, we get a sense that the deck is stacked. How can hope possibly prevail?

It’s a theme repeatedly broached by those in the arts. According to Jeffrey Overstreet in his Christianity Today review, “Children of Men is based on a story penned by P.D. James, a professing Christian better known for her mystery novels.” However, in his interview with Cuarón, Overstreet reports that the director stated that we should place our hope not in God, but in “the next generation.” In this sense, though there are many thematic Christian elements, the film appears to be schizophrenic.

It is reflective of Hollywood’s violent contradiction.

The sanctity of life is a consistent theme in Hollywood films. How many times has a movie left us with the message that one life matters, that everyone’s special, that we all have a sense of destiny. A film as innocuous as The Revenge of the Sith culminates with the birth of a child (Luke Skywalker, who will save n24003.jpghis people from the Empire). The Butterfly Effect reminds us that every action — every choice — is infinitely important. Darren Aronofsky describes the central theme of his new film The Fountain, as “the sanctity of life.” Some have gone as far as to suggest that in Children of Men: Hollywood Goes Pro-Life. The official site for the film opens with a glowing embryo descending onscreen.

Here’s the catch: Holllywood celebrities are decidedly pro-abortion. Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, the list is extensive. Hollywood celebs are typically the biggest contributors to Democratiic, left-wing groups. In fact, Julianne Moore, one of the stars of Children of Men, has been on Planned Parenthood’s board of directors and an active fund-raiser for the nation’s largest pro-abortion group.

So, while Hollywood continues to tell us that life is precious, fragile and infinitely important, it supports abortion on demand and actively funds organizations that terminate unborn human beings. Something is wrong. Behind the message of hope, of flowery feel-good films, is a violent contradiction.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • janet January 9, 2007, 2:46 PM

    Hey, I know what you’re doing, Mike. Trying to up your readership by using words like Hussein, liberal, and abortion, huh? Just kidding:)

    Great post, and you’re right. What a contradiction. And the thing is that Christians tend to get so worked up about the violence on screen and forget about the real violence. I hate reading stuff like this because it makes me think things like, “but I like Julieanne Moore. Maybe I shouldn’t watch her films as that is contributing indirectly to her cause.” Ugh. Questions I’d rather not ponder because they are too inconvenient.

  • Heather January 9, 2007, 3:47 PM

    Still, I’m going to love their sanctity of life messages and hope and pray that the movie will make a bigger difference than the megaphone.
    And, for the record, the star wars movie ends with the birth of both luke and leia, who both have a major part in saving the empire, thank you very much. (did you notice how they play both luke’s theme and leia’s theme at the end when the babies are presented?)

  • Mike Duran January 10, 2007, 3:02 AM

    Janet, when it comes to art we probably do need to separate the art from the artist. As much as I hate to admit it, being a Yankees fan does not keep someone from being a good writer / painter / candlestick maker. And Heather, I must admit I did not detect Luke and Leia’s theme… in fact, I didn’t know they each had one. The movie Children of Men, as far as I can tell, is making a point that is well in line with Christian principles — despite Ms. Moore’s political persuasion. It is really worth seeing.

  • Ame January 10, 2007, 3:18 PM

    i am so glad there is a God and we serve a God who never changes . . . His Truth never changes . . . is always the same. those without such Truth don’t even know how they wobble all over the page they’re so blind.


  • Jeanne Damoff January 12, 2007, 2:55 PM

    That photograph of the baby’s foot pressed against his mother’s womb is amazing! Wow.

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