Is The Hunger Games So Very Different From Real Life?
We take a closer look...
After a whole year of waiting, The Hunger Games has finally reached it's epic conclusion and we could not be more excited! The fantasy series has become one of the highest-grossing movie franchises of all time, but are the films actually that fantastical? There are places around the world that are worryingly close to Panem’s troubled districts, so we thought we’d take a closer look…
The education system of District 12 is pretty bleak. Learning mostly about coal and a warped history of Panem, it’s no wonder the district’s citizens never amount to much. But across the world access to education is a very real problem, with more than 72 million children worldwide denied the ability to learn. Young women like Katniss or Prim are the most disadvantaged – in Yemen, for example, more than 80% of women have never had the opportunity to attend school.
One of Catching Fire’s most dramatic moments comes when protesters throughout Panem are brutally beaten for showing defiance against The Capitol. Pretty harrowing stuff. The people of Thailand, much like the people of the districts, don’t have the right to protest. Earlier this year, in fact, a number of students were arrested for adopting the very three finger salute used in the film to protest against military takeovers not too dissimilar to some of those seen in the films.
The public executions depicted in Mockingjay sent a shudder down our collective spines. The Capitol used these executions to scare the districts into submission. Pretty crazy, right? What’s even crazier is that this kind of stunt hasn’t totally disappeared. In Iran, for example, despite regulations against them, public executions are still commonplace, with executions for anything from theft to homosexuality reported as recently as last year.
Fighting To Survive
While watching J-Law being a badass with a bow-and-arrow makes for great viewing, it’s only because we’re safe in the knowledge that no real harm can come to her. Much harder to think about though is the way in which individuals around the world have no option but to fight for their lives every day. This (http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/25/north-koreas-real-life-hunger-games-joseph-kim/) report by a young North Korean who was forced to fight a guard for his life while living in a detention centre is particularly chilling.
The harsh conditions of the districts may seem like a fiction to those of us fortunate enough to have access to plenty of food and water. Let’s not forget though that there are literally millions of people across the world living in similar/worse conditions with about 1 in 9 people worldwide without enough food to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Okay, we know this isn’t the most fun way to get ready for yet another viewing of Mockingjay – Part 2 but it’s important to remember that when Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games she probably intended the books for more than just entertainment – The Hunger Games is also designed to make us think more about the world. So by all means enjoy, we certainly will, but maybe take a second to think… is this movie so very far-fetched?