It takes a dystopia to give Appalachian people a good report #hungergames

My son, a friend of his, and I went and saw the Hunger Games a wee bit ago. My wife and daughter saw it at midnight. This is an excellent movie, and important.

A couple of themes which are important (to me). First, District 12 is in Appalachia, with coal being the main energy production. There is a antique quality to the town setting, with barely any technology, resembling a company town of the 1930’s. As a matter of fact, the only technology present is for indoctrination by the State. The people are dressed in plain attire in 12, with each district having their own set cultural expectation.

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The movie takes place some 74 years after a revolt in which the countryside rebelled against The Capitol. I haven’t read the book, and I doubt I will anytime soon, but there is some backstory here. Interesting, The Capitol, set in the western part of North America, treats the rest of the continent as a colony. The Capitol is also the most technologically advanced place, as well as culturally radical.

Frankly, there is a pre-Occupy notion of the 1% v 99% going on around the movie.

There is the theme of mimetic desire. Rene Girard would be proud to see his work placed in a movie form. What? Well, each year, a gladiatorial-type game is played in which the winner essentially becomes the image of The Capitol in their district. It takes lots of bloodletting to become the victor. Kids kill kids in view of the world.

No religion is mentioned, only the control of the State. Appalachia is given a good view, with the people, even in a past-future type of theme, not the bumbling morons that Hollywood usually portrays them as.

There is some violence, but I don’t think any terrible language. No real adult situations, unless you count the killing of 8 and 9 year olds, among other ages.

One of the big themes is that the main character gives hope, and hope is stronger than fear. Hope will bring life and justice, and challenge the State. The main character is flawed, using emotions to win the game, in the end. She doesn’t want to kill anyone, but she must to win. She is a volunteer, to safe her sister.

I might have to see it again.

It is a book, I imagine, which is a sign of the symptom of the times.

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5 Replies to “It takes a dystopia to give Appalachian people a good report #hungergames”

  1. The youngest character in the games is 12.
    In the book people in the capital are constantly saying, “May the odds be with you.” Which of course sounds like “gods.”

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