The Hunger Games

The blockbuster hit The Hunger Games was the third largest grossing movie released in history and even has meaning here in San Luis Obispo County. Did you know that the movie is sponsoring hunger relief throughout the country and even worldwide? 25% of each donation will benefit Feeding America supporting hunger locally, while 75% will go to World Food Programme a global hunger relief organization.

The underlying meaning of the movie is, of course, subject to the interpretation of the individual that spends the $8 bucks to go see the movie.  Yes, I know that’s cheap, but that’s what I paid on a weekday afternoon as a senior, not including the bucket of popcorn and diet soda I shared with my wife.

So here’s my interpretation of Hunger Games, it is a futuristic look in the mirror.  I’m sitting there being entertained (and I was – I recommend it), pleased with my successful planning to only spend about $26 between the two of us (my wife didn’t have any of the popcorn as it turned out, but it somehow disappeared before the movie was over.)  That $26 would have provided 182 healthy meals for some of the 44,000 residents in our county. The largest population we serve is children whose families are dealing with the anxiety of their frightening economic situation.

It took me awhile to even want to see the movie because of its central plot – children who are forced to fight one another to their deaths. The surviving child rises to fame and glory, a beautiful home and gourmet food security – all in the guise of reminding them of what a great country they live in.

While my wife has read all three books in the Hunger Games series, I will admit to only watching the first movie.  I’m looking forward to seeing whether there is something more in The Hunger Games II and III – perhaps some path that might help to lead America (oops!  I mean Panem) away from a token treatment of hunger and the social ills it creates toward genuine concern and structural change that will fulfill our dream of freedom and justice for all.  Until then, it’s just a game.