Friday, March 30, 2012

Father Barron on the Hunger Games

Glad to see Fr. Barron is in agreement with my analyses on the Hunger Games. I have seen the movie twice now. I viewed it at the midnight showing, and then I went back to watch it at a regular time with a friend from Ritter. I must say that from an artistic standpoint, I was MUCH more impressed the second time around. Perhaps it was because I wasn't dead tired! Any way, I think it is an important book/film (as is the whole series) and I really like Fr. Barron's analysis (as usual), especially his comments at the end about how the series could, in some way, be prophetic of a place our country is heading.

P.S. to those who have asked about violence - I think the film did a MARVELOUS job of not glorifying it and of showing as little of it as humanly possible. You can tell that Suzanne Collins, who wrote the books, also had a hand in the script writing (which she does) because just as the books are not in any way a glorification, the movie avoids that glorification as well!


  1. Thank you VERY MUCH for this review by You, Fr. John and by Fr.Barron. My son is in grade 7 at a Catholic School in Canada, and they read the book,and last Tuesday the classes of grade 7 and 8 of all Catholic Schools in our region , were planned to go to the movie theatre to see the story on the big screen. I was one of the parent volunteers , and we were all very excited to go. In the morning of that Tuesday, shortly before I was about to leave home to join my son's class on this trip, I got a phonecall from him NOT to come because the movie trip was cancelled.Apparently, someone"important" from the school board decided that this movie is inappropriate for the catholic school to take their students to see it...based on the trailer!!! I spoke with my son's teacher, wondering what has really happend and he only confirmed what my son told me and that the message from the board was sent to teachers by e-mail on the evening before the planned trip. Now, I am appauled by this decision not because we didn't go to see the movie, but because it undermined parental authority , since the parents already gave the permission for their children to see the movie by signing the permission forms, and then someone else says it's not good enough. Whoever it was, and for whatever reason decided this way, I think they made a fool of themself because obviously they ddn't do their homework. And I am going to inquire about it, and I was hoping you would allow me to use the link to your review, Father John, and also to Father Barron's.Only if the school board would check it out...
    God Bless You for all your thoughts you share with us on todays complex issues that are sometimes too hard to comprehend for a simple mom of five who just wants to live a simple Godly life and theach her kids to love and respect God and people around them...
    Joanna from Canada

  2. Hey Fr. Hollowell!

    I have only read the first book so far (I've been afraid to start the second because I don't have time now to be completely absorbed in a book right now!), but I went and saw the movie the other night. I thought it was very well done, and I agree with what you said in both this post and the first one about God in the Hunger Games.

    I was struck, however, when I saw that movie, with a certain sense of horror at the sight of young children murdering each other. I undestand that that's kind of the idea; it's designed to show how horrible it is, and to highlight the atrocities and inhumanity of the Capitol. However, I wonder if, perhaps, there's a line that gets crossed, where the story goes from using the horror of the Games to depict the evil of war and opression, to using that very horror and a means of entertainment. Undeniably, the events of the Game itself are exciting and intriguing, and therein lies the main draw for the books and the movie.

    I understand that it is by no means glorifying the horror of children being forced to kill each other; still, it seems somehow paradoxical to portray the Games as a horrible crime against humanity, and at the same time, use them as the primary vehicle for the entertainment aspect of the story. It's saying, "see how horrible this is," and at the same time, "see how exciting and entertaining this is."

    Perhaps I'm thinking too hard about it, but I'm just curious what your thoughts are on that aspect.


    1. Sorry for my typos, apparently I can't spell this morning. At any rate, the 8th line in the second paragraph is supposed to read "...using that very horror AS a means of entertainment."

    2. Nick,

      I would say what I said before - the Bishops have allowed for violence (and sexuality) in film if they are portrayed realistically and if they are used to show the problems with violence (or the problems with sex not open to life or not within marriage).

      I didn't see anything in the movie that glorified the violence (I thought the opening scene of the games where 13 die was handled masterfully in terms of showing the least amount of blood and violence while conveying the horror of it). I also read nothing in the books that would encourage getting excited about the games.

      I can't imagine anybody watching the movie or reading the book who would say, "wow, the arena aspect of the Hunger Games seems cool...I wish I could be in there."

  3. Children killing Children is Satanic, any Catholic priest that finds favor with such an evil story needs to find another job. The Catholic Church is dystopian and has been that way since 1960. This Collins woman needs her head examined, and the modern Catholic church needs an Enema.