There’s been a lot of hype about The Hunger Games movie that debuted this past weekend. I personally have read the books a couple of years ago and saw the movie last night. I must admit I was blown away. There have been very few times that a movie based on a novel has lived up to the novel and the hype surrounding it, and this fortunately was one of those times. I thought the movie was done incredibly well and stayed true to the spirit (and letter) of the book. Obviously in a film some things are left out due to time constraints, but I thought this was handled very well and likely would have been just as enjoyable a film had I not previously read the novels.
What shocked me upon getting home from the movie last night was an article that popped up on my news feed on facebook about The Hunger Games. Apparently young people everywhere were upset about some of the casting choices, particularly those “making” certain characters black, namely Rue, Thresh and Cinna. I say making in quotations because it’s quite clear from the novels themselves that these characters (perhaps not Cinna but certainly Rue and Cinna) were intended to be black. They are described as having dark skin, hair and eyes (unlike olive or tan, which is used to describe other characters) and their district is reminiscent of an old plantation. I must say that I always imagined them to be black characters and I was a little shocked that others who read the books hadn’t picked up on this. What really shocked me however were the comments that followed that demonstrate just how ingrained certain ideas are in our society. The most horrific tweet for me was one that said Rue’s death wasn’t as sad because she was black. This article I think does an excellent job of discussing cultural white-washing and the “ubiquity of whiteness” and I hope that you all will be as enlightened and shocked as I was after reading some of those tweets.
Read this article!!!