The New York Times' Vincent Canby wrote disparagingly of the film that it was "a sometimes funny (unintentionally), untimely meditation on the earth's over-population problems, set in some future smog-bound England where the World Deliberation Council has decreed that for 30 years there shall be no babies born. Women mad for motherhood who refuse to be content with mechanical dolls programmed to say "Mummy, I love you Mummy," take to giving birth in cellars and stealing each other's offspring."
Even in science fiction circles today, ZPG is rarely discussed or debated, despite the fact that it is an intriguing and rather forward-looking sci-fi film. A grave atmosphere of despair hangs over the entire picture, and the film by director Michael Campus paints an unforgettable portrait of a totalitarian society that controls every aspect of the citizenry's day-to-day life.
Most importantly, however, ZPG is worthwhile for the main questions it zeroes in on. What sacrifice is too great to save the planet? And secondly, should one generation be the one to carry that enormous burden?
"We conquered cancer and then heart disease...and for what?"
|A hovering government craft announces the Zero Birth Edict; and forecasts Blade Runner's (1982) megapolis.|