Monday, April 16, 2012

Media Monday: The Hunger Games and other controversial topics

I have read and heard of a lot of criticism of the Hunger Games, since the book deals with children killing other children. I can only say so many times that the books are about a lot more than that. If you want a cut-and-dry child on child gore fest, check out this:

Perhaps what I have to say about Hunger Games doesn't apply to the movie, but the books are less about killing than they are a comment on our very own society. Teachers across the country have recognized this and started assigning the books as reading material across all grade levels, despite the books' 7th-grade reading level, because it forces students to think about the world in which they live in a very different light.

Suzanne Collins, the author, weaves parallels from our own world so tightly into the story that you may find yourself subconsciously reflecting and reassessing what we find to be everyday aspects of our society. You think watching TV is mundane? Think again; Collins portrays the games as just that, a game, yet another form of entertainment, and the characters use the television to broadcast the games to every District in Panem where every citizen is forced to watch. You think that our Capitalist society is everyday? Nope; Collins sheds light on the dark underbelly of a society where people are more concerned with their looks than their neighbors. And Collins comments on rebellion, as well, touching on the idea of there being an appropriate time and place and reason. Perhaps the Occupiers should have read the books first...

The movie, on the other hand, is not nearly as adept at weaving in social commentary, and instead, sticks to the story in a clunkier, more literalist way. The movie really is about children killing children for entertainment. If you wanted to talk about social commentary, you could, but it's definitely not at the forefront of the storytelling. In removing entirely the intellectual value of the story, I can't fathom how this movie received it's PG-13 rating, as it depicts some serious kid-on-kid violence.

Which brings me to my final point. Watch this trailer for the new movie, Bully.

Take a moment, because if you're anything like me, this made you bawl.

Unfortunately (IMO), this movie is receiving an R rating for a scene in which real children pick on another real child and several curse words are used. This documentary has a lot of intellectual value. It aims to bring kids together against bullying. It aims to change this survival-of-the-fittest mentality that everyone in this country propagates, similar, in fact, to the Hunger Games trilogy. And yet, it receives an R-rating, whereas a movie where much of the intellectual value is removed and children kill other kids receives a PG-13.

You know where I stand, what do you think about this?

No comments:

Post a Comment