The Hunger Games Politics
Photo by Lionsgate
"The Hunger Games" is a rarity -- a Hollywood blockbuster that inspires political discourse. Is it a liberal movie? Is it a conservative flick? Is it both? It all depends on who you ask.
An article from the Hollywood Reporter explains how folks can see their own beliefs reflected in the story. For example, people who back the Occupy movement note that the movie and the book it is based upon feature a world divided into rich and poor. The rich are viewed as layabouts and the poor are hard-working and put upon.
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Actor Penn Badgley, best known for his work on "Gossip Girl," attended the premiere with girlfriend Zoe Kravitz. Badgley remarked to New York Magazine, "It's the 1 percent (killing the kids)... I think you'd have to be blind to not see that. I was shocked to see all that in there."
The creator of "The Hunger Games," author Suzanne Collins, mentioned that the story has a lot to say about climate change. In the film's press notes, Collins noted the themes she hopes young readers hold on to.
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"I hope they question how elements of the books might be relevant to their own lives. About global warming, about our mistreatment of the environment, but also questions like: How do you feel about the fact that some people take their next meal for granted when so many other people are starving in the world?"
Most people see climate change as a liberal issue, but Collins also mentions that young people should be aware of the choices their governments are making. Distrust of the government? Traditionally that's more of a conservative view. If the bad guys were, say, an investment bank, that would be something else.
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Commenters at Free Republic, a message board dedicated to "independent, grass-roots conservatism," argue that the movie is a conservative message. "Those opposing the big-govt are the heros (sp)," one person writes. Another writes, "I would have to say that the books are essentially conservative, whether the author intended them to be or not."
Whatever Collins's intentions, she has successfully created a world that appeals to both conservatives and liberals and that bodes very well for the box office.
The cast of 'The Hunger Games' talks to Yahoo!: