You Go, Kee

While I typically like to relate my journal entries to a cultural text,Children of Men is pretty much in a league of its own.  Though I could discuss the scary ways this reminds me of present and historical treatment of immigrants or the possible weird fetitization of black women’s hyper-fertility, I would rather leave the movie in its own context and explore a question of my own.  How awesome is Kee?    In the midst of complete and utter turmoil, traveling as a refugee, watching friends and loved ones die, and in the company of activist-murderers she delivered and protected a precious baby girl. 

            The first thing that I came to appreciate about Kee is her insight and instinct.  There is nothing worse than watching a movie and watching the main character make completely foolish decisions, especially when there is a lot at stake—that’s just stressful.  All along, Kee had a keen sense of who she could trust.  She trusted Julian enough to show Theo her pregnant belly and ask for his help when she barely knew him.  She trusted herself and her body enough to realize that she was pregnant when she had never even been taught what pregnancy looked and felt like.  Though pregnancy was foreign to her, Kee relied on the sensation of her kicking baby girl to know that she was pregnant rather than just infected with some bug.

            Not only was Kee insightful, but she boldly and confidently asserted that those around her take own ideas seriously.  When Theo (still a stranger) woke her in the middle of the night to say that she must escape with him for safety, Kee’s guardian and midwife,  Miriam, objected in a tantrum.  It was Kee who squashed the feud and told Miriam that she would be leaving with Theo.  This was one of the many decisions that saved Miriam and her baby.  This trend continued in the moment when the prison guard learned of Kee’s baby and promised her safety but she refused at the incomprehensible cries of a foreign woman who objected.

            Of course, I cannot go on a Kee praise rant without paying ode to her as she who could tough out any situation.  I think I laughed out loud when Kee and Theo had a respite at Jasper’s house after escaping the refugee activists who wanted steal Kee’s baby and Theo is soaking his feet while pregnant Kee engages in conversation over a home-cooked meal.  Furthermore, Kee causally endured hours of contractions as she toured refugee internment camps and watched her beloved midwife get slapped and taken by a rough prison guard.  With a couple of hefty pushes she delivered her baby in a dingy refugee hostile and was less shaken up by Theo himself.  Neither the emotional pain of seeing the deaths of everyone who sincerely tried to help her or the physical pain of her pregnancy stopped Kee from seeing that her baby girl remain safe. 

            For Kee’s own sense and boldness, it was my impression that the film did have a promising ending.  Though everything seemed to be evil and corrupt, if Kee believed in the Human Project then so do I!

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