This Autumn we have begun a series of Film & Faith evenings where we watch a popular film and them have a short discussion about it. The idea is to try to think 'Christianly' about the things we watch. The first film we watched was The Hunger Games, the first in the incredibly popular series based on the books by Suzanne Collins.Here are some thoughts about it (NB Spoiler Alert. But then... you're probably only reading this if you've already seen the film. Right?):
In a hopeless world, President Snow uses hope to control and manipulate people:
President Snow: Seneca... why do you think we have a winner?Seneca Crane: [frowns] 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 of them at random and execute them all at once? Be a lot faster. [Seneca just stares, confused] 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. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained. Seneca Crane: So...? President Snow: So, CONTAIN it.
In a hopeless world, Jesus embodies hope and offers it freely and generously to all:
Romans 15:12-13: And Isaiah says, “A new king will come from the family of Jesse. He will come to rule over the gentiles, and they will have hope because of him.” I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Katniss shows that hope can inspire change.
The manipulation in the hunger games goes wrong and Katniss ends up inspiring ‘too much’ hope in people, such that they begin to fight against the unjust system.
The hope Jesus gives doesn’t manipulate, it inspires us and gives us true purpose:
Titus 3: 4-8: But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour was shown, he saved us because of his mercy. It was not because of good deeds we did to be right with him. He saved us through the washing that made us new people through the Holy Spirit. God poured out richly upon us that Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Saviour. 7 Being made right with God by his grace, we could have the hope of receiving the life that never ends. This teaching is true, and I want you to be sure the people understand these things. Then those who believe in God will be careful to use their lives for doing good. These things are good and will help everyone.