|Opened in theaters March 23, 2012
The Hunger Game, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games……
What do I say about The Hunger Games?
This book sounded pretty bad when my daughter first mentioned the story to me.
She is fourteen, and she and her friends love this book.
I know, the first thing that comes to mind is child violence.
Since that’s what everyone is focusing on, I’m not surprised.
I saw the movie and I have to say that I think there were more sick adults in this movie torturing teens, than teens hurting one another. There were a couple of places where I cringed about the behavior and violence displayed, but honestly after hearing all of the negative hype, there wasn’t nearly as much as I’d expected.
If you ask me, most of the kids in this movie were simply trying to survive. Three of the kids did enjoy it more than they should have- I’d call those kids the ‘bullies’ because they enjoyed hurting others.
The biggest shock I had, was that the majority of the violence and torture against kids actually came from adults in the movie. They were starving families and children, holding a lottery where a couple of kids from each district would get picked each year to enter into a full-fledged hunt in the woods, while they face ‘adult-created’ dangers…think Survivor, except the point is to kill all the kids…and there is only supposed to be one winner (one live human being) in the end. (Again, a game created by adults.)
The kids are the pawns in this movie, and in most cases are just trying to stay alive so that they can get back and be with their families. The main character Katniss, actually tried to stay alive by avoiding any confrontation whatsoever, and thoroughly tried avoiding killing anyone until a little girl she was allies with was in danger and she had to protect her.
Bottom line, I invited my daughter to see this movie because she loved the book. I saved the date for the Premiere six months in advance. I wanted to share with her what she enjoys, I wanted to know what all the hype was about and I did not want to judge her or the things she is interested in. My job is to know my child. I don’t have to agree with what she likes, but I do have to accept and love her and by going with her, rather than forbidding her, I earned her love and respect…instead of push her away.
We discussed quite a bit of the movie afterwards and I should mention that her favorite parts weren’t any of the killings….
I am a previous home schooling parent and still choose to be very selective about what my kids view, but, as someone said on the radio this morning calling into Q104-Cleveland said, ‘If the child has already read the book, it’s too late, they’ve already been exposed…and, even then, the movie isn’t anything compared to the book when it comes to violence and description’.
There are heinous crimes happening all over the world. Some recently happened in my communities back yard. They were covered in the news, they are discussed in school, and there’s no way to shelter them from it. Just allowing kids to read the newspaper and watch the news can be just as wrong as taking them to see a movie like this one. Sheltering them from these things is impossible.
Another defending note about kids who like watching things which are not all roses and sweetness;
I am a long-time Stephen King, Jaws and Saw fan…I grew up on horror movies and still like them as an adult…it did not make me a murderer. And I doubt that because my child watched the Hunger Games she will become one either.
You decide, the movie is still in theaters.
See the trailer.
An additional note: It’s important to point out that the rating on this movie is PG-13. This does not mean it is ‘acceptable for all thirteen year olds’. It means that at about age 13, some children (with Parental Guidance) can handle most of the content and material in the movie. I suggest that it not be seen without an adult and a discussion ought to follow.
I’d actually be more concerned about the movie and sitcom trailers which played prior to the movie itself…. the sexual content and violence was way more inappropriate than what was shown in this movie.
Did you and/or your child read the book or see the movie?
What was your opinion?