"The Hunger Games" uses the backdrop of a dystopian society to tell a story of personal sacrifice for one's family. There are specific reasons why this portrayal of an oppressive world will impact us now more than other times. Four years ago, this story would have arrived too early, while waiting an additional four years would have been too late.
In "The Hunger Games," the nation of Panem rose from the ashes of a collapsed North America. Two teenagers are chosen each year from one of the 12 districts of the nation to fight to the death in The Hunger Games. This televised special is meant to warn the members of the districts against another attempted rebellion. The nation is separated by those few who have abundance and the overwhelming majority who have next to nothing.
Four Years Ago
In 2008, we had been in a recession for a short time and unemployment was skyrocketing. We remember how we were wracked with fear over what type of economic catastrophe was going to happen next. While we could have related to the dystopian society in "The Hunger Games," it would not have the impact it does today.
The story of how Katniss Everdeen overcomes the odds through perseverance and creativity would not have struck as much of a chord since we had not hit rock bottom. We could not have fully related to her story onscreen yet. At the time, we were more concerned with stabilizing our fall than trying to figure a way to climb out of our pits.
Four Years From Now
Hopefully the current economic crisis will be in our past four years from now. If it is, we would have to remember back to our economic hardships in an attempt to relate to Katniss's story of struggle and doing what was right for her family. The idea of fighting to gain what we needed would not be fresh in our minds, losing some of the drive the story has today.
Many of us have pulled ourselves out of the pits we were in, and more pull themselves out every day. We can look back over our lives in the last year or two and remember what we had to do to make ends meet.
At the same time, the fight of the Occupy movement is still fresh in our minds. We can relate to a world run by the rich and powerful, as we are living in part of that type of world right now. The masses in the "Hunger Games" previews are reminiscent of the masses we saw around Wall Street and other areas in the country.
With what we have been going through over the last few years as a country, we can relate to a world separated by money and power. We can freshly relate to a person's struggle to provide for a family and keep it safe. We can look at the world and picture how slight changes in our reality could bring us to the world of "The Hunger Games."
2012 is the perfect time to release this movie.
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