The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Rather enjoyed seeing my contention that Katniss can never look beyond the personal to the political being spelled out at the beginning of the final film. Her resistance to the 'heroic' media narratives foisted onto her is what makes her a true hero. She doesn't want to play the game, and she cannot make political choices, which sometimes involve choosing between evils. In her confrontation with President Snow at the end of this film, he stresses that he never kills vindictively, only to achieve some end. Coin, who seeks to replace him, is also a calculating murderer and adept media manipulator. She kills children in order to destroy her enemy's credibility with his constituents, patrons and the armed forces. Crudely, it works – but for Katniss such people are monsters. She cannot countenance sacrificing others for your own end – she believes in self-sacrifice instead.

Those swept away by the revolutionary fervour of the previous films may be disappointed by the establishment of what looks like a representative democracy (with an Obama-looking figure as the President) at the end. The Hunger Games isn't utopian – Hamish makes the point that human beings have bad memories and are liable to repeat the mistakes of the past. The games may have ended, but the conflict between man and man they represented will continue. So will the spin, the gaudy television, perhaps the inequality between Districts as well. Only the most grievous injustices, the lack of political rights and the rule of law, are corrected. Indeed, although the final scene was awfully gauche, there is something almost libertarian in its return to the open forest. Katniss was modelled on Robin Hood from the very beginning, and its fitting that she would ultimately be most interested in defending the ancient liberties of the freeborn Englishman – property, privacy, the right to roam.

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