The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games directed by Gary Ross tells the story of Katniss Everdeen,

a young woman living in the impoverished twelfth district of the Nation of Panem.

She volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in an event called the Hunger

Games, a yearly televised fight to the death participated by two young people from

each of the twelve districts as a punishment for a political uprising 75 years prior.

The twenty four participants are chosen by lottery, every adolescent’s name is

automatically entered when they turn twelve and you can elect to put your name in

the drawing more times in exchange for food and goods.

The Districts of Panem are a peculiar place. Katniss’ district, the twelfth

and furthest from the capitol, resembles America during the Great Depression.

Their main trade is mining and after Katniss’ father died in a mining accident, her

mother fell into a deep depression leaving Katniss to care for her younger sister

Prim. When 12-year-old Prim’s name is chosen at the annual Reaping, her first year

participating in the games, Katniss volunteers as a substitute for her. From there

Katniss is thrown into the fast paced, glamorous lifestyle of the Capitol, which oddly

enough seems to be technologically 200 years ahead of Katniss’ district.

She and her fellow competitors are trained in survival and combat for several

weeks before the tournament. Katniss wows the judges during her training and is

no less impressive during the competition. She and her District Twelve partner defy

the Games’ rules and refuse to kill each other in the end, resulting in the first two

winner Hunger Games. The movie ends with the looming threat of retaliation from

the judges and the leaders in the Capitol.

While The Hunger Games is a very entertaining and well-told story, I couldn’t

help but think, “This is a children’s book?” The whole basis of the plot is kids killing

kids. It has a transparent message about the dangers of Totalitarianism and the

culture of the Districts of Panem was a little too much like North America to be

coincidental. It is a very interesting movie and I’ll definitely be seeing the new

version, set to hit theaters in a few weeks.

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