Discuss: The Hunger Games: Is It Going Too Far?

Image It’s hard to ignore all the buzz that’s going around about the movie coming out this weekend, based off of the mega top-selling book by Suzanne Collins. Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss  Everdeen who lives with her mom and sister in post-America. When the districts attempted to rise up against the Captitol long ago, they were defeated. As part of the surrender terms each district has to give up one boy and one girl to fight in a televised event where the only object to is to not be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen to participate by the lottery, Kat takes her place.

The story goes on to tell about a group of kids, aged 11 to 18 (12-17?), who get thrown into a forested arena and are forced to kill each other. The only way to win the game is be the only survivor. The only way to survive is to kill your opponents. So my question to you is this: Should this type of movie (or book) be marketed to our teenagers? I have read the book and it is violent, and from what I’ve read about the movie, it flirts with an R rating. If you don’t think this should be marketed to teenagers, would it be better for adults? At what point would you draw the line in dealing with violence in teen movies? If you don’t think it’s a problem to market this kind of movie toward teenagers, what, then, would you consider inappropriate?

I know this blog is young and I’ll be lucky to get one comment, but for anyone that cares to participate in this dialogue, feel free to comment. Let’s hear your thoughts.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

7 thoughts on “Discuss: The Hunger Games: Is It Going Too Far?

  1. I read the books…I didn’t think it was too violent. I don’t think matters if its marketed to teens or not because teens will read it anyway. Teens read adult books already so I don’t think it matter who the book is marketed to honestly. If people wanna read it they will read it.


  2. Hunger Games–it’s really driven by the characters, not the violence. I teach and at our elementary school the library keeps these books behind the counter for mature readers. I thought they were engaging and inventive. I really cared about the outcome. I think teenagers who want to read them should, and their parents can join in to talk them through… They are worthwhile and raise some interesting themes.


  3. We went to see Hunger Games a week or two ago and I have mixed feelings related to your question. I’m not sure it’s any worse for teens than a lot of other things they see already, and even the news reports sensationalize things so much that sometimes there is an outbreak of similar crimes or tragedies (e.g., suicides by people being bullied; such repetitions often occur within tightly-enforced cultural boundaries such as Asian pressure to succeed academically, with failing leading to suicides).

    I’m not sure it is any worse than the movie 1984 (a 1956 film adaptation of George Orwell’s 1949 novel; better known was the 1984 film adaptation), Animal Farm, or Lord of the Flies–all of which deal with control and our willingness to give it over to others or to give up our freedoms for what we perceive as advantages.

    What worries me more is the infringement we currently see in the government’s encroachment on our rights and freedoms is far scarier than what it’s doing to teenagers. Since the beginnings of Social Security, FDR’s New Deal, etc. in the earlier part of the 1900’s, and even back into takeover of our time and families by the Industrial Age in the 1800’s (the stripping away of men from their families by taking them into the factories, making them punch time-clocks, and separating them from feelings for family, nature, and community) have gradually been placing us into a mindset where we are open to be manipulated into a Hunger-Games-type scenario. We clamor for “security” and allow videotaping in stores, at traffic intersections, etc. to such an extent that we even get traffic tickets via mail! We give up our freedom, often gladly, for bread and circuses. Someone pointed out that even Lincoln enacted a war restriction that has never been revoked, one that led to significantly more empowerment of the government to take away freedoms than had previously been acceptable–and basically, the North winning the “Civil War” placed the stamp of approval on his action.

    I saw the news headline about the principal resigning and the secretary getting fired after making out and being secretly videotaped by a student, who then posted it and caused a furor. Everyone seemed upset at the actions of the two adults–but doesn’t it bother anyone that their private acts (admittedly in the wrong place) were publicly exposed without any consideration for their reputations, etc.? Our willingness to violate others’ boundaries, to enslave others even, to ignore their value as persons created in God’s image–even “good people” often to automatically assume the worst (“guilty until proven innocent”–I had a friend who was falsely accused of being a sexual offender, and never got it off his record before he died!)–all these are witness to how enslaved we are to our sin natures.

    Censoring media isn’t the answer. It hasn’t worked up to this point in human history. Often the only thing that makes a significant change is one person laying down his or her life in some demonstrable way, as Jesus did. People follow leaders who lead with something they can believe in–whether they be Hitlers, Stalins, Mussolinis or Idi Amins, or Mother Teresas, Gandhis, Churchills, Martin Luther Kings, and Nelson Mandelas. We need to pray for–and be–leaders more like the latter category, find causes that are worth committing to. As someone has said, “The best way to say ‘No’ is to have a greater ‘Yes’!”


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