Isolating Tensions: Foreground & Background in “Children of Men”

Great article on conveying a story via background while actual story progresses in foreground during a movie.

Mariel Calloway


The world in P.D. James’ novel The Children of Men differs vastly from the onscreen realm that we see in the 2006 film adaptation. The basic premise remains the same: widespread infertility has halted the birth of human babies for nearly twenty-five years and Oxford professor Theo Faron, along with the rest of humanity, calmly and apathetically awaits the end of the world. With some minor changes in characterization, the screenplay and subsequent film build from the same starting point but enact one striking change. In the film, futuristic England is transformed from the wistful and nostalgic hills of peaceful Oxford to the chaotic and explosive streets of a xenophobic London.

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