Every time I reread the Hunger Games trilogy I become more furious about the movie representation.
These books were about an indigenous woman (with a brain injury in book 3) living in poverty overthrowing a corrupt white government.
She was demisexual, had stomach hair, was not even remotely romantically driven (and canonically didn’t even find romance until after she had finished a revolution.)
And Peeta was disabled and physically abused as a child and they both suffered from mental health problems and the parallel between the Capitol and the ruling rich was so very transparent.
And I’m seeing fun coloured makeup in stores labeled “Capitol colours from the Hunger Games”!
These books were about the revolution of the most oppressed taking over the extravagance and elitism and decadence of the ruling class while citizens starved.
These books were a parallel to our current social dynamics, they were a call to arms. They were a battle cry for the impeding ruin of the rich white ruling class.
And the movies portrayed them as a fantasy, a romance story, a cute little tale. When the real story in the books was one of strength and upheaval and shifting paradigms and revolutions.
And like…… the death of a young Black child sparked the rebellion.
When Katniss thinks about running away in the second book it is the memory of Rue that makes her decide to stay and “cause all kinds of trouble.”
That is an indigenous woman deciding that the death of a Black child is so horrific and unacceptable that she needs to start an entire uprising about it. That is WOC solidarity.
Then again, when Katniss is talking with Peeta about not leaving he literally, canonically and verbally SAYS it’s because of Rue.
The movies did not lend enough weight to the injustice and violence that Black women face; they didn’t waste any time in deciding the rebellion came from their White Katniss’s determination to overthrow the Capitol.
The movies purposely and aggressively erased all of the racial oppression and power and dynamics that were so apparent in the books.
They made Katniss white, they made Gale white, they erased Peeta’s amputation, they seriously diminished the PTSD both of them faced (which was actually one of the more accuract accounts of PTSD I had ever read in the books), they drastically lessened the weight and importance of Rue’s death.
Anyway, fuck the movies. The books are miraculous. Right down to the respect of survival sex workers. Right down to the power imbalances of society being set in the hands of a violent old white man who has surgery to appear younger.
The author said these books was based on her interpretation of kids’ experiences in war torn Vietnam and Iraq. None of these kids were supposed to be white.