The Hunger Games franchise has been wildly popular, partly due to its strong heroine, Katniss, but also because the dystopian world of Panem feels eerily like our own. In Mockingjay — Part 2, we noticed that these seven moments feel as if they were ripped from today’s headlines.
1. The enemy is not like us
In a speech to the residents of the Capitol, President Snow says this about the rebels, “The enemy is not like us. They do not share our values. They have never known our comforts and our sophistication and they despise us for it. They are coming to destroy our way of life.” Presidential candidate Donald Trump used similar tactics to demonize his perceived “enemy” when he spoke about illegal Mexican immigrants; only, Trump wasn’t quite as elegant, saying, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
2. No negotiating
In Commander Lyme’s speech to the rebel army, she says, “We’re facing an enemy that will not change and will not surrender.” Given recent tragedies in Paris, we can’t help but think the enemy sounds like ISIS, since negotiating with suicide bombers is very difficult to do.
3. Flood of refugees
Snow offers protection to the “flood of refugees” who are coming into the Capitol from other districts. Congressional Republicans voted on Thursday to make it more difficult for refugees from Syria and Iraq to come into the U.S., fearing that some may be terrorists.
4. Snow’s white rose
In the film, Snow talks to Katniss about the roses in his garden, “The colors are nice, but nothing says perfection like white.” This statement sounds like a thinly veiled assertion that white people are a superior race. This echoes the struggle that caused the Black Lives Matter movement to come into existence.
5. The Capitol represents America’s 1 percent
In the world of The Hunger Games, the Capitol has always been a metaphor for the super wealthy, shining a light on the massive inequality our world faces.
6. A new era?
At the end of the film, Coin announces that Katinss will kill Snow while everyone is watching, saying, “[Katniss] will fire the shot to end all wars. May her arrow signify the end of tyranny and signify a new era.” Of course, Coin doesn’t really want a “new era,” she just sees an opportunity for a power grab. Wealthy political candidates don’t really want a new era because the era they are in made them rich. They just want to be in control. This reminds us of Trump’s slogan, “Make America great again,” or Jeb Bush’s slogan, “Jeb can fix it.”
7. History repeats itself
Plutarch Heavensbee’s letter to Katniss says, “The war is over. We’ll enter that sweet period where everyone agrees not to repeat the recent horrors. Of course, we’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a gift for self-destruction.” People in America seem to be so worried about immigrants entering our country, they seem to have forgotten that almost all of us were immigrants at one time or another.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 opens Nov. 20.