In the film Children of Men, in the "Miracle Cease Fire" scene, how is lighting and color portrayed to impact the "look" of the film.

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The “Miracle Cease Fire” scene in Children of Men acts as a continuation of the lighting and coloring techniques used throughout the film.

Children of Men is indeed an interestingly lighted film. A reason for that is because it is lighted so much differently than our expectations of the genre. ...

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The “Miracle Cease Fire” scene in Children of Men acts as a continuation of the lighting and coloring techniques used throughout the film.

Children of Men is indeed an interestingly lighted film. A reason for that is because it is lighted so much differently than our expectations of the genre. Children of Men is a science fiction film. That’s why the movie’s lighting is so interesting and defies expectations. More often than not, a science fiction movie is about unnatural things; therefore, directors try to emphasize the use of artificial, unnatural light. For example, films like Star Trek or Star Wars mainly take place inside of buildings or ships with light being provided from artificial sources. Even when a movie like those does decides to show an outdoor scene, the director makes sure audiences know that something unnatural is still there. That's why they show something like more than one sun or something like that (Luke Skywalker on Tatooine). Even 2016’s wonderful Ex Machina contains a great deal of artificial light sources. This particular science fiction movie does take place on Earth, but just about the entire movie takes place in rooms that have no windows at all.

Children of Men is a science fiction movie that takes place on Earth. It’s a very natural setting, but instead of using artificial light for the movie, the director uses copious amounts of natural light. Many scenes take place outdoors during daylight hours. The opening scene with the coffee shop bomb ends with Clive Owen outside of the shop. There are extended car sequences where the characters are lit from outside with sunlight. The “Miracle Cease Fire” scene also uses sunlight streaming in through the building to light the interior spaces.

Why is all of this natural light so special? It’s special because it’s just about the only kind of light available in the film’s war-torn dystopian society. The entire world is at war with itself because they have nothing to live for or protect. All of the infrastructure is gone. In order to make everything look ravaged and war-torn, the director went with a very gray, drab, and dark color palette. The world might be lit with natural light, but there is nothing natural about the state of the world. The human race is incapable of reproducing and depression and despair are at a fever pitch. The dark gray coloring serves to highlight all of this.

I would like to point out how the “Miracle Cease Fire” scene is a bit different, too. Throughout the movie, Owen’s character is constantly on the move, seeking shelter from various groups. Exterior spaces are dangerous. He, Kee, and the baby are exposed in those places. Essentially, going out into the natural light is often the most dangerous thing to do; however, that is the opposite in the “Miracle Cease Fire” scene. As the group descends through the building, they are constantly lit by the sunlight streaming into the building. It is almost as if it is calling them to safety. Once outside the building, all of the troops stop their fighting to look at the baby. Some even say a prayer for it. They are finally safe (for a moment) in the natural light. The scene does maintain the film's dark and muted coloring, so the scene does function to maintain the film's overall atmosphere of a hopeless society; however, by finding safety in the light, the film seems to give audiences a very literal "ray of hope." I also like to think that the natural sunlight is shining down on the baby as a way to foreshadow that the human race will be able to again reproduce naturally. That sentiment is given further support when the sound of children laughing is heard just before the credits roll.

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