Historical Connections: Roman of French?



The below comments are from Sherry Shale (address for full artictle at the end of post)

I happen to think that both the Roman and French have been represented within the film. As below details the Roman connections, you only have to take one look at Effie Trinkett’s outfits to see she is inspired by the French at the time of the revolution.

It was kind of the genius of French Aristocrats to dress so beautifully that, if  you are someone who loves beautiful things, you sort of overlook the fact that  all the peasants in France were starving when they revolted. Instead you just  think that Marie Antoinette was aesthetically stunning, and what happened was  sad
Read more: http://www.thegloss.com/2013/03/05/culture/effie-trinket-hunger-games/#ixzz2uTgOORGf

One dominant theme here is unequivocally the same as the “bread and circus” of historical Rome’s strategy of distraction for its masses of citizenry by providing free grain to the poor in time of need (so they didn’t riot) and plenty of gladiator and chariot entertainment (to preoccupy their time from learning too much about the corruption of their leaders). Some historians have argued that the so-called “republic” was so corrupt—such as the Senate—that it was necessary for Julius Caesar to dismantle their pretense of representation.

And because Rome was an aggressive, warrior state, which colonized neighboring countries, its culture inured its own people to the idea of killing human life, as entertainment—with extravagant orgies of bloody and brutal slaughter—even animals against humans. Herein Hunger Games most clearly follows this same strategy—but more for the motive of “punishment” for past district rebellion, and to keep those masses in their place through intimidation (and some distractive hope but not too much).

Yet, surprisingly, few movie reviews on the Internet, I read (about eight or so from the 1st listings after googling “hunger games movie review”, discussed much these obvious historical references to either revolutionary France or ancient Rome? How could this be when the movie made it so obvious? Some of its characters had names distinctly Roman: Cinna, Caesar, Cato, etc. Is there something wrong with our mainstream media and Internet writers to not have connected the dots? Hell, this movie even had horse-drawn chariots running down the equivalent of a Coliseum? (Mere mentioning the word ‘gladiators’ or ‘Coliseum’ hardly constitutes critical awareness and seems very superficial?  Found at https://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/23/the-hunger-games-an-alternative-media-movie-review-0


HOMEWORK: Due Thursday  6th February

Follow the questions on the worksheet.




Look at how society is controlled which is similar to The Hunger Games. But MOST of all, look at how they believe EMOTION to be the MOST dangerous thing. How dangerous does emotion become in The Hunger Games?

[referring to Katniss’ high rating] President Snow: An eleven? Seneca Crane: She earned it. President Snow: She shot an arrow at your head.

Seneca Crane: Well, at an apple.

President Snow: Near your head. Sit down. [Seneca sits next to Snow]

President Snow: Seneca, why do you think we have a winner? Seneca Crane: What do you mean? President Snow: I mean, why do we have a winner? I mean if we just wanted to intimidate the districts why not round up twenty four at random, and execute them all at one? It would be a lot faster. [Seneca doesn’t know what to reply and just looks at Snow]

President Snow: Hope.

Seneca Crane: Hope?

President Snow: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.

Seneca Crane: So?

President Snow: So, contain it.

Seneca Crane: Right.

This fan made clip focuses on some of the areas in the film that hope gives Katniss the strength to succeed.

2. Shoot the Apple scene


HOMEWORK: Due Thursday 27th February

Using evidence from the video, explain in detail how these scenes are important to the themes of Power and Oppression.

Evidence must include more than one technique: tone of voice, dialogue, camera shots etc

Give the evidence and then explain how it shows Presidents Snow’s power.



How to write a critical essay on a film


I have noticed that many of you are still not giving evidence properly in your essays, even though many of you know a lot about the text.

The reason we have been looking at different techniques, and focusing on them in specific scenes, is because that is how I need you to write them in your analysis paragraphs. If you don’t use proper evidence, then your essay will not achieve a National Five or Intermediate Grade . If you are just telling what happened, even if you are giving details, it is called narrative. That means you are just telling the story, and not answering the question. You have to PROVE, with evidence how something emphasises the theme you are looking at

Evidence is: how a cinematic technique says something that proves your point.

You must use a technique such as:Camera shot (Subjective and objective; POV) (ECU,CU,MCU,MS,LS,ELS, Aerial Shot); camera angle (LA, HA, Eye-Level); Camera movement (Tilt; Pan; zoom; Track; Jump-Cut); Editing (Fast, slow); Sound (diegetic; non-diegetic); Dialogue;  Mise-en-scene: (everything on the screen)Movement and positioning (of characters); action; mannerisms; facial expressions; props; costumes; setting); Colour; Lighting.


You must choose the technique and then detail how it is used:  An example WITH  3 pieces of evidence.

Dialogue is used to highlight, through the character of Effie Trinkett, the ridiculous nature of the people in the Capitol. Katniss, Effie and Peeta are in a car which is taking them to catch the train to the Capitol. Effie says in an excited exaggerated tone:

“You two are in for a treat! Crystal chandeliers, platinum doorknobs and it flies…”

Effie is prattling on in her silly voice, oblivious to the anxiety Peeta and Katniss are going through. She is describing the train that they are about to go on as a ‘treat’ which shows how ridiculous she is. Katniss tunes out and stops listening to her insensitive words which  are emphasised by Effie’s voice fading, whilst her mouth movement and facial expressions show that Effie is still talking. This suggests that we are experiencing Katniss’s subjective POV through the sound in the film. She has tuned out because Effie’s lively chatter means nothing to her, especially as she is facing her potential death. The insensitivity of Effie symbolises  the cruel and unjust way the people of the districts are treated. The Capitol people do not realise how the people in the districts suffer by being subjected to the Hunger Games as they see it as an honour to be chosen.

Have a look at the shots in the montage section that happens as Katniss makes her way to hunt in the Meadows.Look at Cinna’s section (characterisation) and the montage section. Remember Dialogue is evidence too. Just like in a novel, or short story.

Choose a question

This is what you are answering in EVERY paragraph. –although you are allowed to choose the theme for each paragraph, you must say how the director uses this film technique to  highlight the theme you are talking about.

Choose the themes you want to talk about in the 5  paragraphs you have to write (this is additional to your INTRODUCTION and CONCLUSION).

I have given you an essay plan to help you plan this. We have been looking at the themes of Oppression, Power and Appearance versus Reality (which is connected to POWER as President Snow controls the citizens of Panem).

The theme of appearance versus reality is accentuated during the propaganda video that is shown at The Reaping.  The Capitol people are controlled by being conditioned through the propaganda video about the Hunger Games to see things in a different way to the reality of the situation. President Snow is treated in a God-like way – which is symbolised through the character of Effie Trinkett.

Evidence of that would be(don’t write evidence of that would be in your essay): The extreme-close-up of Effie Trinkett shows her eyes closed, as if in prayer, whilst the propaganda video is being played. This prayer image is reinforced by her mouthing along to the words, as if she is in church. The prayers said in church are continually repeated, which emphasises the fact that she knows the words because she has heard them many times before. This gives the impression that she treats President Snow in a reverential way as if he is a God-like figure, as her mouthing along to the words signifies her total belief in them.

Effie mouthing the words in prayer stance

She also exclaims in a excited tone: “I just love that!” This shows her total disconnection from the feelings of the terrified children waiting to have their names chosen to become tributes, which means they have to fight in a fierce battle to stay alive.

Effie I just love that!

Effie  is clenching her fists in absolute joy after she has finished mouthing along the words.

Effie I just love that! 2

Just after her mouthing along to the Propaganda video
‘I just love that’ Her excitement and happiness is totally out of place next to the poor children waiting to see if their name is going to be chosen.

(you will have already given some context in your introduction about the Hunger Games, and how many people are forced to enter, but you will still need to explain a little about what it means to  the poor children).Then you would have to give evidence of how they feel:

The propaganda video shows a low-angle shot of a Gladiator-like figure to highlight his power over the district children and accentuate their vulnerability.  He is meant to represent a male tribute but he does not look like any of the district children; which is suggested by the camera cutting to shots of the dejected looking young children in the crowd. In particular, a close-up shot shows a small,  weak and sickly, terrified looking boy looking very agitated, highlighting how uncomfortable he is.

scared boy in crowd during propaganda video

Unlike Effie, he, just like all the other children, is not following the words. The difference between the ‘real’ tribute and the one in the video is significant. The one in the video is more like the Career Tributes from Districts One and Two, who are specially trained to compete in the Hunger Games to ensure the Capitol people get a good show; and who believe it is an ‘honor’, as do the Capitol people, to participate in the Games.The horrific nature of the Games is not considered by the Capitol people, or Districts One and two, both of whom are conditioned to believe it is a good thing. This highlights that they believe in the propaganda video instead of the reality of the real-life horrific nature of the Games.


This week we will be concentrating on trying to get enough evidence of cinematic techniques for you to use to start writing your essays.


Finish redrafting your three analysis paragraphs. Remember it is analysis and not an introduction.

  • Remember to use your PEAR structure (with proper evidence not statements)
  • Vary your words (see the helpsheet)
  • Read it through to check the expression (reading out loud is better as then you can hear how it flows)

Also: Complete the ‘Shooting the apple’ section on the worksheet. See below for a breakdown of this in full.

If you want to rewatch the HOPE scene before answering the question it is here:

DEADLINE FOR FULL ESSAYS Monday 17th December.

With Introduction

5 analysis paragraphs


Follow your essay plan.

Message me if you get stuck.

I will be in school to collect them and will be marking them over the Christmas holidays.

This is a good website, which I think, has all the dialogue from the film 🙂


Seneca Crane is influenced by Katniss’s strength, skill and courage when she impresses him during the skills evaluation in front of the Game-makers. Katniss is aware that if she scores too low the viewers will be disinterested in her, but if she scores too high she’ll be a target for the other tributes. She enters the private chamber to do her best and impress the Game-makers, but becomes enraged when they seem disinterested in her archery skills.

A long, high angle shot with Seneca just visible in the corner shows Katniss ready with her bow standing watching them as they totally ignore her. She attracts their attention to her first shot by loudly saying ‘Katniss Everdeen’. Seneca Crane is then shown in a medium shot nonchalantly sipping his drink acknowledging that he will now pay attention to her. While she readies herself to take the shot, the camera cuts to a long shot of the Game-makers to show that they are watching her. She misses, and laughter is heard. The camera cuts to the Game-makers to show their indifference and laughter at her failure. Then it cuts to a side close-up of Katniss where the incredulity of her missing the shot is shown on her face. She looks back at the target which emphasises her shock at how she missed the target, when she is an expert archer. The camera cuts back to a close-up of her face and the audience can infer that it was her lack of skill in using this particular bow and arrow that caused her inaccuracy.

Once she factors in the difference in weight etc, she accurately hits the target. The camera continually cuts between Katniss and the Game-makers to show that they are now completely oblivious to what she is doing and have gone back to socialising.  In an act of desperation and fury (which is shown by an ECU and a tilt of her head that infers ‘how dare they ignore me’, she then walks forward and very slightly, shakes her head at their ignorance),

I will make you pay attention shoot the pig

Katniss launches an arrow right at the succulent pig the Game-makers are snacking on. This catches their attention and, despite her thinking she screwed the whole thing up, earns her a 11 out of 12 rating. Her courage is shown by her audacity to say ‘thank you…for your consideration’ in a tongue in cheek tone of insolence, and then bow to them.


[referring to Katniss’ high rating] President Snow: An eleven? Seneca Crane: She earned it. President Snow: She shot an arrow at your head. Seneca Crane: Well, at an apple. President Snow: Near your head. Sit down. [Seneca sits next to Snow] President Snow: Seneca, why do you think we have a winner? Seneca Crane: What do you mean? President Snow: I mean, why do we have a winner? I mean if we just wanted to intimidate the districts why not round up twenty four at random, and execute them all at one? It would be a lot faster. [Seneca doesn’t know what to reply and just looks at Snow] President Snow: Hope. Seneca Crane: Hope? President Snow: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained. Seneca Crane: So? President Snow: So, contain it. Seneca Crane: Right.

President Snow understands the danger of having someone with the potential courage and audacity of Katniss. She shows a strength of character and intelligence that could challenge his authority. He thinks Seneca should have punished her with a low score for her stunt. He sees this high score as a challenge as her audacity has been rewarded and as a result, she will recieve more attention from sponsors.

Katniss further challenges Seneca when she threatens to end her and Peeta’s life in a double suicide when they are told only one of them can win. Katniss knows that Seneca will have no choice but to let them both win, as he will face the wrath of the Capitol audience if he gives them no victor. He has to make a quick decision without thinking of the consequences:

[believing that they have won, Katniss and Peeta hug and the arena is turned to day again, they wait for confirmation and an announcement is made again]

Voice of Announcer: Attention. Attention, tributes. There’s been a slight rule change. The previous revision allowing for two victories from the same district has been revoked. Only one victor may be crowned. Good luck. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

[on hearing this Katniss and Peeta look at each other]

Peeta Mellark:Go ahead. One of us should go home. One of has to die, they have to have their victor.

Katniss Everdeen: No.

[she throws her bow and arrow down and walks towards Peeta]

Katniss Everdeen: They don’t. Why should they?

[she takes out the nightlock berries she’d taken from Fox Face’s hand earlier]

Peeta Mellark: No!

Katniss Everdeen: Trust me. Trust me.

[she gives Peeta half of the berries]

Peeta Mellark: Together?

Katniss Everdeen: Together.

Peeta Mellark: Okay. One.

Katniss Everdeen: Two.

Peeta Mellark: Three.

[just as they are about to eat the berries the voice of the announcer stops them]

Voice of Announcer: Stop! Stop! Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the winners of the 74th annual Hunger Games.

[on hearing this Katniss hugs Peeta]

Katniss’s words ‘trust me’ show her awareness of the situation.


Hunger Games Task 4

The Hunger games ESSAY PLAN 4B3

Here is a copy of your essay plan, just in case you lose the one I printed for you.

Homework due next Monday 5th November:

3 analysis paragraphs using the PEAR structure

You will need at least two pieces of evidence for each paragraph. Make sure they are connected to the same POINT and THEME.

You all know how to contact me if you need any advice/assistance.

See section 4. on here for help on how to do that.

Good luck!

template for critical essay  Use this template to plan one paragraph

Template for critical essay analysis for multiple paragraphs  This one is much smaller but enables you to plan out 4 paragraphs (you don’t have to do four yet though 😉

For any of you that are still unsure about your camera angles and shots:

camera angles English report

Exemplar Essays


Psycho exemplar essay

The Others model essay

Here is a more complicated media paragraph. I dont expect one at this level though (or you should be at university!)

Ken Loach ‘Sweet Sixteen’

7. Your ideas on the film

I have looked at all the work you have generated in class and have chosen the useful information that will help you with your essay!

This is being worked on right now! There will be more of your work added soon.

Blue Hat

What is the genre of the film? Science-Fiction (Sci-Fi) Dystopian society (click on the link for more detail – remember we talked about it being the opposite to a Utopian society(paradise). As many of you pointed out there are other genres that are included such as action, drama, thriller but the above are the main ones.

What is happening in the plot? A fantasy world called Panem, where

What are the themes of the film? Survival, Friendship,

Red Hat

What emotions do you feel when you watch the film? Explain:

Sad – because you feel sorry for the dead and how they have to compete in the horrific Hunger Games.The techniques used help us to sympathise with the main characters. We feel very sad when Rue dies, not only does it activate our sadness and make us as an audience empathise with the characters, it makes the people from the capitol and districts empathise aswell. This gives them HOPE (see below in the mockingjay part -green hat for symbolism) and that is dangerous!

Full of suspense and on edge – This is because we don’t know what is going to happen. We feel on the edge of our seats at times as we are worried about the outcome. It makess the viewer/audience want to know what happens next.

Happy – Because they win in the end and Katniss gets to return to Prim and her Mum.

Guilt – because these people have no freedom whereas we have a say in how we live our lives.

Scared – because the techniques are so effective and pull us in to the narrative, so that, at times we feel as if it is happening to us.

White Hat

What film techniques are used to determine your reading of the film?

1. When Katniss is stung by a Tracker Jacker there is a POV (point of view shot) which is highlighted by the camera going all blurry and we, as a viewer get to experience things from her perspective (POV).  During this blurry sequence, the director uses a technique called Flashback where we experience the thoughts of Katniss through a dream-like sequence, suggesting she is hallucinating. This effect is further highlighted by the back-story. Here we find out a bit of background information to some of the confusing parts of Katniss’s family life:

1. Her cold relationship with her mother. When she is given 3 minutes to spend with her family, she is warm and nurturing with Prim but cold and indifferent with her Mother.

Katniss Everdeen: You can’t tune out again. Katniss’ Mother: I won’t. Katniss Everdeen: No, you can’t. Not like when dad died. I won’t be there anymore, you’re all she has. No matter what you feel, you have to be there for her. Do you understand? [Katniss’ mother nods with tears in her eyes]

When her father died, her mother ‘died inside’ and shut down to the needs of Prim and Katniss. Katniss had to take over the role of bread winner for the family and take on the role of mother to Prim. She is now concerned, not for herself, but for Prim’s safety and welfare.

2. We see a group of miners and all the faces are the same as the man in the photograph that we previously see in Katniss’s house. We then see the house explode which signifies or symbolises, not only the death of her father (who we can assume from this died from I have put the technique in white as they are the ‘facts’ used to determine our reading of the film.an explosian in the mine), but how that death blew apart her home life.


Extreme long shot (ELS) This camera shot is used during the opening scenes to show the abject poverty that the  people from the districts live in (this is shown from district 12 AND the district 11 who eventually begin to revolt against their unfair treatment as a result of Katniss bringing humanity to the games and giving them HOPE). We see the bleak and horrible setting. The colour is dreary and grey, the streets are mud baths, the houses are old and delapidated, the people are sad and miserable and wear what appear to be rags.

The riot scene in District 11

This also helps us to get a good idea where the main character Katniss comes from, so that we can understand her plight more.

Music: The music is a prominent technique throughout and is used to bring tension when needed. Non-diegetic (not in the movie, click for more clarification)(more will be added when you analyse music more closely! If I forget to add it, leave a comment).

Green Hat:

What new ideas do you think about when you watch the film? How does it relate to your prior knowledge of films or books that you have read? Think about the symbolism and what that suggests.

The ideas we CREATE from ‘reading’ a film is a unique experience and so I have put them in green.  Remember, although when we view a text it is a shared experience, our reactions to it may be quite different depending on the associations we make (how it connects with things we recognise from something we have previously watched or read) See the section on Symbolism

trying to give you different vocabulary to use so that you have a variety to use in your essays. Make sure you try and use different words in each paragraph. S

6.Summary and Themes

Below is a sample of your own work on the themes of the novel. I have also included one of your summarys that I have added a bit to


The Hunger Games is futuristic film set in the country of Panem, where each year  twelve districts must sacrifice a boy and girl to fight to their deaths in the yearly televised Hunger Games. Usually there can be only one winner, but, in special circumstances brought about by the main protagonist Katniss Everdeen, they changed it to two. The narrative focuses on the main character Katniss, from District Twelve, who tries fights against the odds (adversity) to return home to her family.


Inequality: In the Hunger Games  there is clear inequality between the districts, that are poor, and the Capitol that are rich. We first see this near the beginning when District twelve is having their boy and girl picked and they are all dressed in rags whereas the woman from the Capitol, Effie Trinkett, is dressed in expensive brightly coloured clothes. We see this again when Katniss is hunting for food to feed her family, as they have very little, whereas in the  Capitol there are huge buffets of food to eat.


Love: One theme that is used in the Hunger Games is love. Katniss tries her best not to get attached to people, but ironically, she ends up pretending to be in love so that she can get more sponsors. Another aspect of the love theme is when she volunteers to take her sister’s place when she is chosen as the tribute from District Twelve.

Peeta and Katniss fall in love – ah but do they really? or is it just a publicity stunt? That is common with our own celebrities who do so to gain press coverage and extra attention from fans looking for any pieces of information. The same is true of the ‘celebrities’ in the Hunger Games (the reality tv show in the film)

Power: Who has the power?

Another theme in the Hunger Games is power. The Capitol people have the most power as they have power to control the people in the districts. They act like the people in the districts as just characters in a show and not real people that feel like them.

Friendship: The bond between Katniss and Peeta allows them to work well as a team and both get home safely from the Hunger Games.

There is also a bond created between Rue from District Eleven and Katniss, as they both looked out for each other. Rue knew that Katniss was different from the blood thirsty tributes from Districts One and Two,  and the other less able ones, and knew that she could trust her.

Loyalty: Throughout the story, we see how Katniss works to help other competitors. Rue, from District Eleven, was scared and sought help from Katniss, who, out of respect for Rue and the people of the districts, conducted a ‘funeral’ for Rue, covering her in flowers and singing to her as she died. This became the catalyst (this means the incident that forced a change to happen) for the uprising that begins in District Eleven. How did this become the turning point in the way the Districts allowed the Capitol to treat them badly? It showed the games for what it was. Not a reality TV show, but the brutal killing of the people in the Districts who are exploited and oppressed by the Capitol people. She made them appear human, real people and not just characters in a game.

Survival: They have been set the task to survive, and we follow Katniss Everdeen as she tries her best to, in the cruel, torrid Hunger Games.

They have to fight for their lives by killing other tributes and learning to cope with the guilt that follows. They also have to find food and shelter to protect from the elements and to give them the strength to protect themselves against formidable, well trained opponents.

At first it is all about ‘survival of the fittest’ (Darwin’s theory of evolution). This is made more challenging, as the tributes from District One and Two are specially trained from an early age and volunteer to take part, as it is seen as an honour to take part and win (much the same as the Spartans who trained to fight). The other Tributes are like Gladiators that are forced to fight to death. Katniss tries to keep away from the ‘career tributes’ but is forced into their area by the game- makers, who are trying to keep the viewing public interested by throwing the people together in the hope that a bloodbath will ensue.

The film exposes how, with a little team work and common sense, you are able to be victorious in the race for survival.

May the odds be ever in your favour:

This theme is about chance and luck. For example: Prim Everdeen is entering The Reaping draw for the first time and only has her name in the draw once – unlike many others such as Gale who has his name in many times to get the extra food for his family.

This theme is also about the gambling that takes place before the games where they place odds on who they think is more likely to survive the Hunger Games.


Katniss has the courage to volunteer to take her sister Prim’s place when she is chosed as District Twelve’s tribute. She then remains strong and focused on her goal of returning home to her family. She promised Prim that she would win.

Katniss shows courage many times throughout the film. For example, her courage to shoot the arrow through the pig and make the gamemakers notice her (and gaining a high rating as a result!); she also has the courage to challenge the Capitol with her signal of respect after Rue’s death and the courage to take the berries at the end. This courage allows her to win the games (with Peeta) but it is also the reason why President Snow views her as a threat – she has given the districts too much HOPE and ‘a little hope is effective, alot is a dangerous thing’ (President Snow makes this comment to Seneca Crane, the head Game-maker, as a warning, as he can see how easily the districts can turn against the Capitol if they hope and believe they can make a change. Katniss already has made a change by humanising the games. This means that she has made them seem like real people and not just part of a tv show.


Control is a main theme in the Hunger Games as the main point of the Hunger Games is for the Capitol people (President Snow being the main enforcer of this control) to exert their power over the people of the districts.

Well done all of you! Keep up the good work 🙂

5. Analysing the film as a whole

Using Edward De Bono’s  Six Thinking Caps to analyse the

 film ‘The Hunger Games’

Task three:  Below is a table where the Six Thinking Hats have been used to structure the analysis of  ‘The Hunger Games’ as a whole. . In pairs, discuss each area and fill in the table.   Word doc of table: Hunger Games film analysis using Thinking Hats task 3

Thinking Hat Colour Question Answers
Blue Hat  What is the genre of the film?   What is happening in the plot? What are the themes?
Red Hat What emotions do you feel when you watch the film? Explain how the   film makes you feel.
White Hat What film techniques are used to determine your  reading of the scene? Give some examples   (make sure you explain where the technique is used in the film)
Green Hat What new ideas do you think about when you watch the film?How does it   relate to your prior knowledge of films or books that you have read? Think   about the symbolism and what that suggests.
Yellow Hat What are the positive aspects of the film? What is successful?
Black Hat What are the weak points of the film?What could the director have done differently?