The World Is Watching: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 

November 19, 2014 9:08 AM

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More than most dystopian riffs on the subject, The Hunger Games (the first) conveys the shock of seeing entertainment as both a method and an image of suppression, endlessly reenacting the division of a nation. With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (aka The Hunger Games Part 3 Part 1) the series reframes that obsession with media, centering on Katniss Everdeen as the new, authentic face of the uprising. Newly based in the underground bunkers of District 13— where Julianne Moore’s President Coin leads a gray-jumpsuited rebellion with a hidden military—Katniss is recruited to sell the country’s mad-as-hell dissatisfaction to itself for inspiration, while in the capital her butter-bland tele-sweetheart Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is put on TV as an admonitory shill against the fighting.

Francis Lawrence’s gray sequel bumps along with this new tit-for-tat battle of images—“moves and countermoves” as President Snow (Donald Sutherland) puts it—as District 13 and inspired rebels across the land take actions against the capital. Katniss is given a film crew to record her and encourage s...

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