*Any film as pervasively popular as “The Hunger Games” will inevitably be infiltrated by politics.
The movie raked in more than $155 million in its first weekend, but some conservatives circles are already shunning the story as pro “99 Percent” – the moniker taken on by a grass roots movement of U.S. citizens who are not in the top one percent of Americans in terms of wealth.
“The Hunger Games,” based on the book by Suzanne Collins, is set in a post-apocalyptic America, “Panem,” with an authoritarian central government set in “The Capitol.” Residents of the Capitol live a life of luxury while the rest of Panem’s citizens are scattered across North America in twelve slave colonies known as “districts.”
These “bottom 99 percent” are forced to ration their food in a bid to reduce the chance that their kids will be sent as “tributes” to compete in a game to the death. These so-called “Hunger Games” are then broadcast as an over-the-top reality television spectacle.
Two teenagers are selected by lottery from each district, escorted to the Capitol, trained and styled, and then transported to an arena for a battle where only one teen can survive. The winner gets to have a lifetime supply of food and supplies for his or her family.
Below, Lenny Kravitz, who plays a stylist to protagonist 16-year-old tribute Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), says this movie has a number of important themes that are likely to stick with viewers long after they leave the theater.
Below: Democratic strategist David Goodfriend says “The Hunger Games” is more than dystopian fiction; it is a commentary on America and its economic disparity.