The religious references of the journey of Theo Fharon (Children of men)

The religious theme strikes the viewer right away and sets apart this film from the canon of a dystopian work. Dystopian works usually reject religion, and therefore do not use religious references to pave the way of the character’s journey. The references mostly come from the christian religion.

« Theo’s faith lost out to chance« , this is how Theo is portrayed by his friend. Theo’s journey is a journey of revival of faith, surely not faith in a god or a cult but faith in mankind. Alfonso Cuarón uses religious references to illustrate Theo’s revival of hope and of faith in mankind and in the future. Theo appears as a modern day Jesus or Moses. He is a hero that transcends the prevailing alienation and is chosen to go beyond and set a new order. He is chosen as the one to accompany Kee and keep the child safe.  Theo’s name is also a religious reference, coming from the greek « θεός » meaning god.

Scene n°1 : The barn


Kee, amongst cows, reveals her pregnancy in a barn. The setting is a direct reference to the nativity scene. The nativity is the birth of a second Adam, a better man, perhaps a man not so prone to hubris. Kee’s baby also represents the birth of a new man, a new Adam. She bears the first baby in eighteen years.

Kee’s pregnancy is always referred as a « miracle ».

Scene n°2 and 3 : Theo’s feet

Alfonso Cuarón seems to have a keen interest at Theo’s feet, several shots feature only his feet. In two scenes there seems to be a reference to feet bathing and to the sandals of jesus.



Scene n°4 : A herd of sheep

A herd of sheep passes by him, Theo is directly associated to Jesus, the shepherd. This is not the only scene containing animals, Theo is often surrounded by animals, which seem attracted and appeased by his presence.


Scene n°5 : Parting the red sea 



In the middle of a military attack, Theo and Kee manage to appease the combat and evacuate the attack zone. He parts the « sea » of soldiers in two, some kneel and make the sign of the cross. This scene, regarding its scenography reminds  us of the parting of the red sea by Moses.

Scene n°6 : A sacrifice for mankind

Theo successfully brings Kee to the boat, he sacrifices himself and dies at the very end of his journey, as did jesus. In his last moment, the ship, the « Tomorrow » arrives. It containing the future of mankind and makes a reference Noah’s ark.



—  Theo’s journey is constantly linked to bible events and to the journey of other bible figures.


Marie-Vérane Varaillon

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