Been reared on the idea of the “population explosion”? Well, the reality is more like an emerging “demographic winter”. This is a fascinating film that telegraphs the statistics and cultural realities and questions contextualizing the fact that people, worldwide though particularly in the west and in Japan, are having far fewer children. And, that many in the west, are bringing up those children in single parent homes. That, in other words, divorce is become the norm nearly, instead of the exception, and children are the witnesses and innocent participants in an adult drama of sexual freedom. While not condemning of the sexual revolution (many of the participants are actually “progressives’ or social liberals), the observation is made at one point that the sexual revolution may have been the greatest and most impacting radical change in — modern human history! Yes, bigger than the atom bomb, the Beatles, or the internet. We are still sifting through the consequences and are not entirely sure, what they are and what they divine for our future survival. Poverty and criminality are known to increase when children are brought up in single parent homes, yet this is certainly not always the case in each individual instance. Also, there was a clear prediction made, that around 2009, the western stock markets would decline precipitously — due to the aging baby boom’s economic fortunes. Japan, apparently had no baby boom after WWII and their economic morass happened earlier and has lingered.
The questions brought up are fascinating and — hard to ask, and some of the conclusions are not entirely what many may want to hear. Even so, this film is more about asking than knowing for certain, at a time of great change in cultural norms and values and outcomes. Fascinating and not an “answer” film, but a film that leads to greater questioning, not all of it comfortable.