Most of you are probably aware of a sure-to-be blockbuster movie called “The Hunger Games” that was just released this weekend, a film based on Suzanne Collins’s extremely popular book series (30 million copies) about children and teens forced to hunt and kill other kids for sport.
In Collin's fictional trilogy about a post-apocalyptic North American nation of Panem, the sadistic powers-that-be require each of their twelve districts to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 each year to take part in The Hunger Games, a fight to the death that is portrayed on the nation’s live television, and which all citizens are forced to watch. The victor of the competition gets to enjoy, as his or her reward, a life of relative ease that’s free of poverty and starvation, hence the name The Hunger Games.
The movie has a PG-13 rating, meaning that teens will have no trouble getting into theaters to watch it, which millions of them will almost certainly do. What they will see, some will argue, is the teen heroine as victim of a brutal and oppressive system she is bent on combating with every means possible, including countering with violence.
Meanwhile, another recently released movie, "Bully,” a documentary by producer Lee Hirsch and the Bully Project, is about kids sadistically hurting each other in everyday real life, right in our own schools and neighborhoods. This one has been given an R rating, meaning that the very teens and children portrayed in it are not supposed to see it.
Is this ironic or what? And is there a link between our children being exposed to unremitting violent entertainment in theaters--and on their home computer and television screens--and their treating each other in sadistic and cruel ways?
When will we all just rise up and say “enough already” to all forms of brutality?