Z.P.G.

Tagged: Film

Film (1971; vt Zero Population Growth UK). Sagittarius/Paramount. Directed by Michael Campus. Written by Max Ehrlich, Frank DeFelitta. Starring Oliver Reed, Geraldine Chaplin, Diane Cilento, Don Gordon. 97 minutes. Colour.

This film was a product of a period when, not before time, the question of Overpopulation had almost overnight become a matter much publicized by the media, books like Paul R Ehrlich's The Population Bomb (1968) had become bestsellers, and the Club of Rome was about to publish a very alarmist report in The Limits to Growth (1972). "Zero population growth" is a term which refers to a situation where the population of a society remains steady, neither increasing nor decreasing. But the screenwriters of Z.P.G. assume, absurdly, that it means nobody having any children at all during the 30-year period of a world government's ban. A married couple defy the edict and have a baby secretly. They are betrayed by a jealous neighbour, but escape the authorities by descending into a sewer. Where they escape to is not explained. The novelization is The Edict (1971) by Max Ehrlich. [JB/PN]

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