Dystopian and other Films that relate to The Hunger Games

Extra information to help you understand the background of dystopian films and how they relate to our own history.


Video clip by Spark Notes on the story of 1984

If you want more information about the background story to ‘Nineteen-Eighty-Four’, then watch the spark notes video clip (which is 7 minutes 36 seconds long). It has a very similar storyline to ‘The Hunger Games’, and it could be useful for you to compare these in your own essay. The propaganda (the video President Snow shows at The Reaping), control and misery of the oppressed residences of Oceania in particular resonates with the troubled residents of the districts. Look at the setting: housing, personal possessions, clothing and food.

It is also useful to look at the iconography (this means the an image which represents something else  (it symbolises, signifies, echoes or resonates – which are all different words for explaining the same idea (concept to use a big word). This is when you look at an image and you have a Green Hat moment. You start to think it is familiar to something you have seen before, either in recent tim example: North Korea which could be which could be described  as a modern day totalitarian regime:


…or something you have perhaps watched or read (Equilibrium, Children of Men, Blade Runner,Nineteen-Eighty-Four, The Matrix etc). There are many to choose from check out the top fifty dystopian movies of all time by clicking on the word dystopian.

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?

You will have to use the film footage for your essay evidence. But watch this clip as it gives you a real impression of how Katniss HUMANISES the games. She upsets the balance and makes the people in the Districts (and the capitol) feel for the first time, and to realise, that they are not just a pawn in a game, but real humans being brutally murdered.

Think about the THEME OF POWER. Who controls the POWER and who upsets the balance? President Snow is concerned about Katniss becoming a danger as she is growing in power due to the various things that she does in the film. Watch this footage to get an idea of some. The most vivid are her lack of fear at the beginning (she is willing to risk her life by hunting for her family); her willingness to take the place of her sister Prim and volunteer as tribute; her annoyance at the gamemakers (and subsequent shooting the arrow in to the apple); her ability to fend for herself; her ability to show compassion for another despite her life being at risk; taking on the career tributes (by blowing up their food supply); her flaunting her feelings about Rue (and making a sign to the viewing public); her courage to risk her and Peeta’s life during the berry scene; her ability to construct a persona to fool the public (and President Snow – ah but is he really fooled?)

It could also be something you recognise from history such as the Communist regime in Russia and Hitler’s regime  in WWII…there are plenty of other examples.

Watch this video clip from You Tube that shows a bit of history on totalitarianism:

The Hunger Games, where two children (ages 12 to 18 ) from the districts, have to fight to their deaths for the enjoyment of the people of the capitol, resembles the historic story of The Gladiator. People were stolen by the Romans, and their families and homes destroyed, to become slaves. They were sold to become Gladiators where they had to fight till death for the entertainment in The Colosseum. Below is a documentary about Gladiators. You dont have to watch it all, if you just watch the first few minutes you will understand how they were taken and sold. If you want the fighting etc…you will  have to watch some more!

Look at the Gladiator is portrayed in the film The Gladiator:

A violent battle that emulates the violence and brutality of the Hunger Games. Even a person as important as Marcus Aurelius

‘ A king who became a slave, a slave who became Gladiator..’

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