house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

44 days, 38

So, after swearing I wouldn't take them to see The Hunger Games, I took them. Well, in my defense, I took them to see The Lorax, but it was dubbed in Portuguese. The problem was not the language, we'd seen Tintin in Portuguese and got the idea. The problem was hearing a virile, well-oiled, radio presenter voice trying too hard to translate Danny DeVito in Portuguese. Ouch - I couldn't bear that, the kids concurred.

So The Hunger Games it was. My problem with it? Suggesting that the idea of kids chasing and killing other kids might be acceptable and entertaining - albeit in a faraway fantastic future.

In fact, that was the least important issue in Kira's mind. The games were the games, once she knew the rules, she waltzed along. What utterly grabbed and bewildered her was the status quo in that future world: 12 districts living in abject poverty and one pampered Capitol, looking like another planet. What did they do, the people in those districts, what did they DO? - she kept asking. What is a revolution? Why did they rebel? Why were they so poor? WHY were The Hunger Games their punishment?

We tried to explain - really, we did but it was hard to paint a believable scenario. It all sounded too bizarre; that those districts would meekly accept to be plunged into a grey never-ending existence where a bread roll was a dream come true. That they would be just fine with the Games, in fact that they would watch them and be proud if their boy or girl killed everyone else and won! That all this misery was enforced by a few poncy troops like Darth Vader's white pawns in Star Wars.

Instead, all I could think of was the ancient tribute to Crete - the 12 boys and 12 girls sent to the Labyrinth every year to face the Minotaur. I think I'll tell her about that today.


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