Revolution Catching Fire?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may be a big-budget film that made over $670 million in its first two weeks at the box office, but that hasn’t stopped economic justice activists from using its story to highlight their inequality concerns.

“Enough with the distractions,” urges a video posted on the website “The Hunger Games are real.”

The movie, based on the best-selling young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins, takes place in the dystopian society Panem, where a small percentage of the population controls a large percentage of the country’s wealth, while the majority of citizens face the constant struggle of economic insecurity—a situation that is not unlike our own society, activists point out, where “[one percent] of the population controls 40 [percent] of the country’s wealth,” as the video says, while “80 [percent] of the population controls just [7 percent] of the country’s wealth.”

The website includes a photo montage of various Hunger Games fans giving Panem’s revolutionary three-finger salute, and urges others to join them.

But it’s not just young adult readers and apparent 20-something basement dwellers highlighting the story’s economic commentary. In a recent interview with The Guardian, longtime actor Donald Sutherland—who plays the tyrannical President Snow in the onscreen adaptation of the Hunger Games trilogy—said he wants the film to inspire a youth revolt.

“Hopefully they will see this film,” Sutherland said, “and the next film, and then maybe organize. Stand up. They might create a third party. They might change the electoral process. They might be able to take over the government, change the tax system.”

(Originally appeared in the Valley Advocate.)

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