If I have to die, I still want to be me.
If the Hunger Games are for you about the question Katniss with Gale or Katniss with Peeta, this is not your review. I will not loose a word about shipping.
Ever since I read the books over a year ago, the Hunger Games are for me about revisiting childhood. A fence to keep you in your District, people who paid with their lives while trying to cross it, few lucky ones who made it, run down villages and towns, luxury for the ruling and the ever present question, how far you go in order to arrange with the system and where you draw the line, a looming revolution? Check. I remember. The problem of District 13 – is it real, how much of the story is real and how much of it is just born out of hope – and their attitude that their visions and their lead in the fight are not to be questioned, because they represent the only steadfast and constant opposition; it was real. And the books pretty well picture the dilemma, Katniss finds herself in while she is already busy enough trying to find herself and staying true to what she found.
The first movie now does a great job in putting pictures to the text. Yes, the story is larger than life – that’s how literature and movies work. Yet, the dirt and the grays of the coal little coal town that seems way past the day a do over could have rescued it, I passed through them as a child. The odd assortment of goods displayed in the market in hope to trade them for something of need – it’s howEast Germanyworked. You just didn’t trash things because they might come in handy in a future transaction to organize something rare. The dresses worn by the inhabitants of the Districts really got me. I think one of them was from my mom’s dresser. The bleakness in the eyes of the people during their daily cores; the hidden rage, but also the forsaken glances before they faced the inevitable reaping – it’s not fiction. I was 10 in 1986 when I visitedKievmere weeks after the maximum credible accident ofChernobyl. These people knew what had happened like 20 miles from them. And they looked the same.
In contrast to that the cacophony of colors and shades of the capital and the lavish luxury displayed that almost appeared like a perversion a Rococo revival festival. Katniss astonished face when she stepped into the train was priceless. But she did take it better than I did. Just turned 14 year old me passed out in the train after my first trip toWest Berlin.
Light stands for wisdom and knowledge and we celebrate its return in winter when the darkness around us threatens to depress us most. Yet, too much light and too much color is usually just the cloaking around a rotten core. Its stink can’t be drowned out by colors and insincere gayness. That’s what the distraction of the Hunger Games is for. Panem et Circenses.
Why do we have a winner? Because the only thing stronger than fear is hope. But too much hope is a spark that threatens to light a storm.
You might not believe me, but you can feel the spark in the air – in the movie just as in reality. And there stand Peeta and Katness, put on the board to be pawns. But they don’t want to be what they are meant to be. It’s not for the big picture, but for themselves. They want to choose who they are. Because to find and stay themselves is their hope. The berries in their hands will make them to pawns in another, bigger game again. But in that moment, they are just the fulfillment of what Peeta set out to archive: If I have to die, I still want to be me.
I saw the movie from my perspective. My grandparents would see the neoclassic inspired architecture and have flash backs to their childhood in Nazi Germany. From whatever perspective one sees it (or reads the books) it’s good entertainment, the way that stays with you. You? Who are you? And where is your line?