In Richard Dyer’s article, “White,” he talks about the representation of whiteness, especially that is examined in the presence of blackness. Of the three films that he discusses, they all “relate to situations in which whites hold power in society, but are materially dependent upon black people” (146). Furthermore, he states that “this actual dependency of white on black in a context of continued white power and privilege that throws the legitimacy of white domination into question” (146). Upon reading these two assertions, I immediate think about how in the movie, Children of Men, reflect exactly these points.
The film is set in the near future, in Britain, where all the world’s women are suffering from infertility and societies have spiraled into chaos and collapsed. Society, at this point, is starring potential extinction of the human race dead in the eye. The British government (perhaps a play off the known history of imperialism) has declared all foreigners as illegal immigrants. The white holds the power in this crumbling society. Both the government and the guerilla group that opposes the government, The Fishes, are headed by white males. However, the twist in the story comes when the protagonist of the film, Theo, a white man, is given the mission of protecting Kee, a pregnant black woman. As I mentioned, this world is suffering infertility and Kee is the key in continuing the human race. This clearly shows the whites, in fact all humanity, is dependent upon her, the black girl. Theo and many other “whites” in the movie journey to protect Kee and her newborn child to the ship, Tomorrow, where there is a collection of scientists dedicated to reintroducing fertility into the world. I suppose there is a mutual dependency between the white and the black in this film. While the black girl, Kee, depends on Theo, the white man, for physical protection, Theo and the rest of white society, depends on Kee to help solve the puzzle of infertility that is spreading through the world.