The Hunger Games
It was about 3:15am while trying to get back to sleep, that I smelled movie theater popcorn. It smelled so good. Strange huh?
Perhaps I was being tempted because I gave popcorn up for Lent. While experiencing the smell of one of my vices, my mind turned to reflecting on the movie I saw just hours prior. The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games is a popular book series recently turned into a block buster movie. I have friends who absorbed the trilogy of books like a parched desert accepting a rain shower with gusto. I felt like I needed to see what all the hubbub was about, even though it didn’t look like a movie I would be interested in watching. The fact that it is rated PG-13 was a factor in my decision to see it.
So off we went to our little Sawmill Theater in Payson for the 4:15pm showing of The Hunger Games.
After sitting for two and a half hours watching the impressive special effects and storyline of the movie, I was surprised by my thoughts.
First, the movie is bizarre and futuristic. It’s set in a time where there are two types of people. The first type being childish adults who live their lives surrounded by a capital called Panem which used to be North America. Most of the people and leaders are lavishly dressed in brightly colored weird attire.
The second type of people live within twelve separate districts, each having jobs that serve the totalitarian government of Panem. The people in the districts are deprived of the creature comforts in life. Most are very poor and hungry.
It’s obvious that families work together to survive within the districts.
Each year, one boy and one girl are chosen unwillingly by lottery from each district to be the entertainment for the residents of Panem. Their parents have no choice in the matter. They must bring their children to the reaping where the lottery is held.
The entertainment is called, “The Hunger Games.” Kids are forced to kill each other in a forest setting while the world watches it all on TV. The battle scenes depict kids with knives and other weapons. In my opinion, the violence is too much for younger children to watch. It is not though, excessively gory or graphic. The camera flits away pretty quickly from the brutal scenes, but they are still noticed and leave an imprint on your mind.
I learned quickly in the opening scenes of the movie, that Katniss Everdeen, the main character, is a strong young woman who is resourceful, compassionate and selfless. She substitutes herself in place of her little sister who was one of the chosen children to fight the other kids to the death. She gives her little sister hope in that she will return a winner and be with her again.
Throughout the movie and even during some of the brutal fight scenes, I grasped Katniss’ compassion for the innocence of most of the other kids that like her, were chosen for the battle. I found her strength in holding it together ultimately for love. She held herself up to a higher standard by using her talents and gifts to get through the unimaginable experience. Even when she didn’t know she had them.
There is much controversy with whether or not this movie is appropriate for young teens or should even be seen by Christians. The fact is that movies like this can open up discussion to the reality of what has been and could be in our world. It is the de valuing of life by those who choose to use others lives for their own pleasure or convenience.
I am a sucker for movies that ultimately end with the fight for family and for love. For me, the message of the movie was about sacrificial love.
In watching The Hunger Games, there is an opportunity to think how tough situations that are forced upon us, give us the option and opportunity to THINK about how we will approach and act upon those situations.
Love moves us. Hate ultimately stops the movement of love. Love can be painful as well as the ultimate sacrifice.
This is Good Friday and a day of reflection on what we as Christians reflect on as the Ultimate Sacrifice. We think upon the pain and the love that Jesus suffered for us. His self – sacrificing love should move us to compassion. Forgiveness and compassion in action breaks down the walls of hate, anger and revenge.
In two days, we celebrate the rising of our Lord. Not bunnies or eggs. But an empty tomb and hope in our lives and our future, no matter what pain we live in now.
Happy Resurrection Day!