“The Hunger Games” subtly explores the intersection of politics and art

By Nomko Baatar
Via Mashable
Via Mashable

Featured on trendy web blogs, fashion magazines and all over the movie world, there is no wonder that the third installment for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” is garnering more and more attention as its release date approaches. With the influx of strong women in the media industry today (starting with Elsa from “Frozen” and reaching its way to “Orange Is the New Black”), Katniss Everdeen, the main character, tops the list of leading figures in feminism today.

The general plot of “Hunger Games” is simple — it’s a utopian government with alas, a very dystopian reality. Katniss is made out to play a vicious game in which it’s kill or get killed, both on field and in politics. On her own, she proves to be a great model for the deprived citizens of Panem, a compassionate yet brave girl who is also really good at killing. However, this time in “Mockingjay,” we see Katniss as a pawn in the political game the government and the rebels are playing, and while on the playing field she had control over herself and her actions, she now is at a disadvantage of mind games, lies and deceptions, finding herself out of control as she is forced to represent a freedom she doesn’t believe in.

Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of a girl used solely for the purpose of a walking advertisement does bring Emma Watson’s speech for the UN Conference to mind. Her powerful opinion on feminism sparked both strong positive feedback and negative critiques from all groups, feminists and non-feminists. Watson has been known as a feminist for a while now, through her active Twitter updates and such, but it was her public speech that has changed her from being “one of the feminists” to a powerful yet “not technically right” feminist. Is the equality she defined in her speech something she believes in unconditionally, or was she influenced by the rising wave of the feminism hate movement, her press managers, or maybe even the strong pressure of speaking for the UN? With so many people who found her deflating the feminist movement, there were even more people who supported and exalted her. Like Watson, anything Katniss does in “Mockingjay” is bound to be analyzed and dissected, but Katniss, as a strong person (emphasis on person) will do anything to save what she cares about the most — ultimately her family — and no one will be the better judge of her.

Nomko Baatar is a contributing writer. Email her at film@nyunews.com.

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