On a long drive yesterday I listened to a lot of NPR, including an interview with Gary Ross, the director of The Hunger Games, a movie opening on March 23 with a lot of hoopla. Since I didn’t know about it – it’s geared to teenagers and adapted from a young adult novel series by Suzanne Collins in which she explores the effects of war and violence on those coming of age – I decided to Google the book when I got home. I wasn’t pleased with what I found.
The Hunger Games is about youngsters as young as twelve and as old as eighteen fighting each other – I understand there has been a rebirth of bows and arrows as a result – until the last one is standing. Also the people who live in the surrounding area are commanded to watch this war on television.
That the game of life and death is so revered in this story appalls me. Must be my age.
Still with all the very young men and women killed in real wars, the gang-related youth killings, and suicides by children as young as nine because of bullying these days, I’d think we could make movies for them with better messages – that life and death is not a game. It is for real. We only have one chance at it. We cannot click a button and make all this gratuitous violence go away. And I wonder if the children as young as twelve who read Collins’ books and who are clamoring to see the movie know the difference.
Collins claims that the deaths of the young characters in her books were the hardest parts to write. Why am I not surprised?