The Hunger Games is a well-done but violent movie bringing up a recurrent theme in world history, which is the struggle between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death. However, in our desensitized world where the average high school graduate has seen 100,000 murders by age 18, it may not be perceived as violent. As one who has worked with teen gangs on the south side of Chicago, and has seen enough dead teens in the emergency room from gang shootouts, I had a hard time seeing the dead teens in this movie, who had been sacrificed by society, as they are like a newly blossoming fruit ready to give to the world. This aspect of the movie touched a soft spot in me. The movie setting is some time in the future where a Romanesque Culture of Death power has dominated and colonized 12 different tribes. Without much imagination, one could certainly relate this number 12 symbolism to the 12 tribes of Am Israel who defeated the oppression of the Egyptians. The reluctant heroine of the movie and of the 12th tribe, Katniss Everdeen, shares with her boyfriend, Gale, an undercover Culture of Life existence, flowing with the flow of the situation and living as free people in the context of the colonial slavery of a Culture of Death, social/political system. She reluctantly becomes a nurturing heroine when she volunteers to replace her younger 11-year-old sister, who would certainly be unable to survive in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is about a yearly teenage human sacrifice tribute to “honor the memory” of the defeat of an attempted rebellion of the 12 tribes against this Culture of Death colonization. The painful Hunger Games include the symbolism of the ancient human rite of human sacrifice practiced as far back as Babylonian times. In this case, one teenage woman and one teenage man from each of the 12 tribes were chosen—essentially by lot to be a gladiator entertainment show for this yearly rite of human sacrifice by the Culture of Death dominant culture. It should be historically noted that over a period of a few hundred years of Roman rule, over one million gladiators were sacrificed along with a few “winners” who were set free. The fact that there were a minute amount of winners created a situation of a glimmer of hope for those selected to be a part of this idolatrous human sacrifice ceremony. The reluctant heroine under the guidance of Haymitch Abernathy, excellently played by Woody Harrelson, is able to maintain her heartfelt humanity throughout the gladiator sacrifice show, whereas the other gladiators allowed themselves to become transformed into the Culture of Death consciousness actively and viciously trying to kill each other and Katniss. In the process of her survival, she befriends one of the other “gladiator offerings”, an 11-year-old girl from District 11 and the two work on their survival together. The beautiful bond of love between them is another testimony of the power of the Culture of Life over the Culture of Death. The beautiful ceremony in which she buries the 11-year-old who was slain by the Culture of Death gladiators brings about sympathetic riots from the tribe of District 11. It also indirectly saves her life through the compassion of the male representative of District 11 who was so touched by her compassion and love for this 11-year-old girl who was a member of his tribe. He actually saves Katniss’ life later in the Hunger Games to honor her compassionate love for his younger tribal member in the midst of the Culture of Death nightmare/dream. This is symbolic of how the idea of love and compassion of the Culture of Life can touch the hearts of even those who have been immersed in a gladiator, animalistic way of life, values, and survival instincts. It is a message of the power of the Culture of Life to touch the hearts of those whose psyches have been clouded by the values and delusion of the Culture of Death.
As the story unfolds, her love and compassion and the love of her other 12th tribe member, Peeta Mellark, whom she has also transformed, seems to captivate the Culture of Death audience and even touch their hearts. As it goes further, even the head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, a younger member of the Culture of Death leadership, is particularly touched by their love, purity and sincerity of these representatives of the Culture of Life. This is significant because in today’s world this Culture of Death energy is symbolized by the Illuminati whose general object is to enslave the world. This subtle shift in the head Gamemaker points to the spark of light in the younger generation of the Illuminati who are still able to resonate with the heartfelt love, compassion, and values of the Culture of Life. It highlights, on a subtle level, the potential receptivity within the Culture of Death to be transformed into the Culture of Life.
What is interesting is even though the gladiators think the battle is somehow independent of the Culture of Death domination, it is very clear that the Culture of Death domination is even pervading the consciousness and even the weather and fire conditions of the gladiator battle with and without their awareness. Certain survival favors are given to Katniss and Peeta as part of this.
Near the end of the Hunger Games, after all but the two friends from the 12th District are killed, the Culture of Death tries to change the rules so instead of two from an area being victorious only one is to be victorious in a symbolically vain attempt to have those two (Katniss and Peeta) battle it out. In response, Katniss made a remarkably brilliant move reminiscent of the Jewish mass suicide of Masada 73 AD as a potent refusal to become enslaved and be spiritually violated by the Romans. It was an ultimate act of freedom and resistance, rather than become Roman slaves and prostitutes. In this case, Katniss and her cohort chose to commit suicide rather than submit and become part of the Culture of Death dominating society. This single act morally and psychologically defeats the Culture of Death symbolically, and at the very last moment in their moral defeat, those in outer power return to the previously adjusted set of rules, which said two from one tribe can win the games. So, now the two are allowed to live as co-winners. Their action reflects the silent heroism, humanitarian values, love, and compassion that are needed today to defeat the Culture of Death on the inner, and ultimately the outer plane. Their near act of revolutionary suicide is actually a reflection of Patrick Henry’s empowering quote, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Whether this is the actual intent of the movie, the subtle symbolism is clearly there for anyone who is aware of history. May this movie as an act of awakening stir and inspire many people to consciously become part of the Culture of Life and amplify the power it entails to heal, restore, and elevate the planet to its spiritual and ecological greatness.