I still remember the first time Lionsgate released the first footage of the first movie. At the time, I was pretty obsessed with the series so I was fangirling over gifs and gifs of Katniss running through the woods..lol..but in my defense most everyone in the Hunger Games fandom was pretty crazy over this. And here we are now, the last movie Mockingjay Part 2 already out.
The Hunger Games, on a more exaggerated level, has a lot to say about us commenting on our absurd entertainment values and consumerism, but also of the irreparable cost of war. So I found it kind of funny when I heard that they were making a Hunger Games theme park. A theme park suggests that I want to return to this world, that I want to immerse myself in it. But Panem is definitely not a world I want to have fun in. It’s not even a world that is aesthetically pleasing like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter; the whole purpose of the revolution was to fight against the system, the dystopian society that Katniss lives in and now we’re bringing it to life? It sounds a little shady to me. So why? It sounds like the industry is self-criticizing itself unconsciously or that it’s taking this story only for its revenue value.
But then again, I find myself really curious about this theme park, how they’re going to incorporate the technology and if I’m to be honest, would I go if I had the chance? Probably. So I don’t know what that says about me.
It’s hard to imagine how in America, we are delighted by the prospect of reimagining a real life Panem when real life Panems actually exist. Not literally, I don’t see news of kids in a staged arena fighting to the death.. but the oppressive government, sure. Panem is a dystopian society obviously and living in a 1st world country and seeing these movies is sort of a detaching experience for me sort of like being the not-that-close friend of someone who just broke up with their significant other. You feel for them because it’s a break up and it might impact you a bit but overall you feel detached about it.
So as difficult as it is for me to imagine America as a country that would adopt these horrific practices, it is as equally difficult for me to fathom a world of dictatorship and tyranny and revolution. I know it exists obviously. And it’s even more prevalent now with the emergence of the Syrian Refugee crisis. I read a fantastic comic about what is actually happening in Syria. I was struck by how similar the premise was to The Hunger Games when I read the panel about the teenage boys who decided to vent their frustrations and ended up being tortured for their protests. I never realized how such small actions from such young people around my age can lead to something..well..revolutionary. As in The Hunger Games, revolution starts with a simple action like not eating some berries or raising two fingers in salute of the Mockingjay. And it all starts because people decided they had enough.
Even if revolution is something of a far-fetched thing to someone like me, I can’t forget that tyranny and oppression are not a thing of the past just yet. It’s obviously not as simple as that either because even if it is oppression, it was a steady regime. I’m really proud of this series as books and as movies because I liked that revolution has turned “trendy” to put it in the simplest of form, that more people are aware of it. I like that Katniss’s story can serve as such an inspiration and hope to many of those out there who think that one person can’t make a difference. It’s a little idealistic I’ll admit but when I read about the small things that real life Katnisses do to catapult change, I hope I’m always brave enough to step up when I want to fight for something I believe in.