What's the meaning of the title "Children of Men"? There are no men giving birth to babies, obviously.


According to Cuarón, the title of P. D. James' book (The Children of Men) is an allegory derived from a passage of scripture in the Bible. (Psalm 90 (89):3 of the KJV: "Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.")
James refers to her story as a "Christian fable" while Cuarón describes it as "almost like a look at Christianity": "I didn't want to shy away from the spiritual archetypes," Cuarón told Filmmaker Magazine. "But I wasn't interested in dealing with dogma."


  • I didn't understand any of that, to be honest. How is that quote related to the plot of the book/film?
    – Val
    May 3 '20 at 12:10
  • @Val Bible, god, people dying en masse, women giving birth to child that is a saviour of whole huMANity. I don't know if you know but bible is very male centered. As Men are people and that's all. So by writing "Men" author of the psalm had in mind "every single human". May 5 '20 at 13:44
  • The implication of the title is that mankind has been divinely made sterile as a punishment from God. And that the children one can hear playing as the final scene fades to black are like Noah and his family - as the old order slips away, God allows a small number of innocents to survive to take over the ruins.
    – tbrookside
    May 11 '20 at 20:56
  • @Val This passage means that humans became destructive, and God wants them to return to him. Humans are merely children to God, children of men(humans).
    – TK-421
    May 13 '20 at 5:37

"Men" does not necessarily mean male

The classic (now a bit archaic?) meaning of the word "men", especially when referring to large groups, includes all humans, not only male humans. So it's reasonable to assume that the title essentially means something like "Children of mankind".


Plot of the movie is:

In 2027, 18 years of human infertility have left society on the verge of extinction. When one woman miraculously gets pregnant, Theo, a bureaucrat, must transport her to safety.

In my opinion, the title is Children of Men, since the book states that male infertility is the reason why no one is able to produce any children in this fictional world. Hence named Children of Men.

Children of Men explores the themes of hope and faith in the face of overwhelming futility and despair. The film's source, P. D. James' novel The Children of Men (1992), describes what happens when society is unable to reproduce, using male infertility to explain this problem. In the novel, it is made clear that hope depends on future generations.


  • How does the book explain anything with male infertility. And how does the movie refer to male infertility? I didn't catch any reference whatsoever.
    – Val
    May 5 '20 at 22:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .