Amidst a very intense and unrelenting thriller crafted so beautifully by Alfonso Cuaron, there is a scene that will stay with me forever, high in my all-time favorites.
It comes at the most violent and gruesome part of the film as a group of military forces discharges all of their might into a decrepit-looking building that has been invaded by gypsies first, and by a group of persecuted rebels second.
Most of the action takes place inside the building that seems just about ready to collapse as we are following Theo (Clive Owen) through the chaos, frantically searching for Kee and her newborn.
There are dead bodies scattered throughout, debris everywhere, as walls continue to crumble to the unrelenting power of shells and battery.
At first, Theo searches for bodies, expecting the worst as he moves along, stumbling, tired, injured and sweaty. His search suddenly follows a vague sound, almost a whisper at first. It is a sound that had not been heard in over a decade in a near-apocalyptic world: the sound of a newborn crying.
As his search gets closer to the end, the fear and desperation in Theo are palpable in an all-engrossing spectacle of horror, action and great suspense.
Not before a couple of more close-calls with death, Theo finds Kee and her crying baby who, by now, has managed to bring the gypsies trapped inside to their feet, amazed at the beautiful specimen some of them had never seen. Some try to touch and others pray, moved by the hope of new life.
As they attempt to somehow escape they are greeted on the steps by the military who, like the people they are trying to kill, can’t help but be in awe of the miracle that managed to survive the mess. It brings them all to a halt, silently amazed by the tiny creature, war stopped, if only for a second, uniting everyone through the beautiful innocence of new life.
Poetic, all-engaging, intense and beautifully shot. One of the finest moments in the history of cinema. Without a doubt!