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Film: Z.P.G.

Z.P.G (Zero Population Growth) is a 1972 film starring Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chapman. As the name suggests, its plot revolves around Population Control, which is announced at the start of the film by the World Federation Council. This version is harsher than most — having children is banned completely for 30 years, and punishable by death. To make up for this, life-like dolls are made to replace them which couples care for, mimicking the affection, tears, and even illnesses of actual children. The central conflict involves a couple who conceive a child, and the consequences of this action.

Tropes:

  • Crapsack World: Along with being controlled by a dictatorial global state, the Earth's atmosphere is so polluted that face masks are required to go outside, extinction of most animals (including domesticated kinds) has occurred, most bodies of water were filled in to create more housing for their increased population, despairing old people rot away in retirement homes, people wear monochrome uniform jumpsuits, there are years-long waiting lists just to visit a museum, there is only indistinguishable goop for their only food, and they must watch films of the "excessive" things people ate in the old days.
  • Dystopia: The World Federation, a global state that controls its citizens lives very tightly, keeping them on a strictly rationed diet, constantly broadcasting propaganda, monitoring public library computers so closely that state security can pull someone in for torture at a moment's notice if they looked up the wrong subjects, using brainwashing, registering existing children, mandating abortion with the push of a button after couples have conceived, and publicly killing those parents (along with their children) who violate the ban on reproduction by suffocating them in a plastic sphere lowered by helicopter.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Everyone still uses The Seventies' styles, even though it's supposed to be sometime after the turn of the 21st century.
  • Population Control: The basis of the film's plot. Reproduction is an offense punishable by death.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: The dialogue speaks of the "early 21st century" being the past, and it was filmed in 1972. It may be set in the (former?) UK, given the British Accents of most characters. There was also a "great famine" in the past, according to the State Museum, which led to riots according to an old newspaper, "killer smog" in Los Angeles that left 9,000 dead, and, going by a plaque on the beach in the last scene, all their nuclear missiles were buried in 1978.

What's Up, Doc?Films of the 1970sAmarcord
ZoolanderCreator/ParamountThe 4400

alternative title(s): ZPG Zero Population Growth
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