Are ‘The Hunger Games’ Films Radical Social Critique — or Just More Evidence of Hollywood’s Cynicism?
There’s a certain conceptual irony to The Hunger Games franchise. This is a story, after all, that is at its essence about the perniciously oppressive power of entertainment — and yet, here it is, rendered as that most modern of entertainments, a Hollywood blockbuster. This contradiction is at the heart of what makes the film adaptations, in particular, such an interesting cultural phenomenon. The movies’ story arc essentially concerns the overthrow of an oppressive state wherein wealth is confined to an elite at the expense of an exploited majority, and what looks remarkably like a socialist revolution based around the redistribution of wealth.