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In the not too distant future, a very smoggy and overpopulated Earth government makes it illegal to have children for a generation. One couple, unsatisfied with their substitute robot baby, breaks the rules and gets in a lot of trouble. (Z.P.G. stands for Zero Population Growth.) Written by
Matt Carlin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Whenever I go shopping with my baby son, I hear o's and r's quite a lot. I even have people coming up and talking to me because of my baby son. I can see why. Babies are cute, adorable and most importantly, a symbol of hope. In the future world of zpg (Zero Population Growth), they have become objects of fear.
The world is overpopulated, polluted and on the verge of a collapse from centuries of environmental abuse. The governments of the world have had to make the painful decision to ban birth for 30 years in an attempt to save the human race from extinction. Food is synthetic, and so are the robotic children. It is one fake, sterile place to live in.
The government uses all kinds of methods to quash the yearning for children with the death penalty being the ultimate deterrent. Despite this, many still decide to have children. One such couple are the Mcneils (Geraldine Chaplin and the late and great Oliver Reed). But their friends, the Bordens find out and want the baby for themselves and threaten to grass on the Mcneils if they don't let them have their baby. The Mcniels have to find a way out before time runs out.
This film very much reflects the hopes and fears of the era it was made (including the flares on the protective suit the populace have to wear outdoors). The environmental movement was in full swing with the fears that human race was destroying the planet. Zpg showed a disturbing outcome to way that the environment is treated and like in other films like 'Soylent Green' shows the affect on the quality of life. In zpg, technology had made life 'confortable'? But the populace was constantly starving because of eating only synthetic food. This very much reflected the belief that more and more things would become 'fake'. It was during this era that plastic furniture came into the home. There was also nylon clothing and the first 'ready meals' and of course, the 'Pot Noodle'.
The technology of this world offered so many distractions including the horrible robot children, but could not hide the yearning that people wanted things to be real. Including children.
The government of this world pretty much like in 1984 has a grip on the peoples minds from interfering on almost every part of daily life. Okay, there might not be a camera in every home, but one such example is an official government video that was playing while the McNiels were 'getting it on'. Such is the control that the government have, one such scene shows a baying mob surrounding a couple with their baby. The police turn up to arrest and execute the family. A women brags about spotting the baby and alerting the police. Proud of killing a baby. The awful thing is that this actually happens in China. The Mirror newspaper printed a picture of a dead newborn baby in a gutter in a street in China, with people just walking by like it was just a bit of trash. The one child, 1 family policy has caused many newborn girls to be murdered because a lot of couples want boys.
This is a good if sometimes disturbing film that should be viewed on the one chance it is shown on TV.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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