What’s philosophical to me about The Hunger Games is how it draws parallels to our own lives today, from what we see as entertainment to how our capitalist culture is inherently exploitive and how that goes by unnoticed by most of its inhabitants.
But thinking about this so much, I started to wonder if I was reading way too much into things. I could probably take any half decent movie and find some scraps of philosophy to explore. And what’s the point of having philosophical undertones if no one is noticing? Is anyone, apart from me, noticing?
The Hunger Games film made 152.5 million dollars in the opening weekend and has since grossed 466 million worldwide. But how many viewers are leaving the theater and asking difficult questions like how their lives similar to the Capitol citizens, how North Americans currently exploit others for their comfort and luxury? And how, to a certain degree, we accept violence in our lives as inevitable or worse, overlook it altogether? Has this film impacted anyone or do most people just see it as a story of a faraway world, a story that has nothing to do with us?
So get out there, kids. Talk about important and difficult things. Make stuff happen.Films can be a great jumping off point for discussion and a catalyst for thinking about important topics but I don’t think a movie can do it all. And going further with that, discussion doesn’t necessarily make change occur. So while a movie can inspire us and give insight, in my mind, it’s in no way a substitute for thoughtful discussion that leads to positive action.