The Fictional Reaping...
(© Lionsgate Entertainment)
...And the Real One.
(© UPI 1969)
Copyright © 2015
By Ralph F. Couey
Written Content Only
In recent years, I have become increasingly aware of the disconnect between what young people today call "history" and what I clearly retain as memories. Sometimes the difference is identifiable as a deliberate attempt to scrub the past. Listening to how the Japanese teach their children about World War II leaves most westerners scratching their head and wondering if they're talking about the same war. Other times, the passage of time, the loss of vital documents, and the death of participants make the reconstruction of past events something of a guessing game. The intertwining tales of the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, and the Ark of the Covenant have become a gaping collective hole that hundreds of years worth of investigation still haven't solved.
I have a lot of DVD's and Blu-Rays, as I'm sure the same is true for many of you. Most movies on disc now include the special features section that usually contain edited scenes and short documentaries about how that particular film was made. I don't always take the time to watch those, but when I do there's always something interesting to discover that more often than not, improves the viewing experience of the movie itself.
I've had on my shelf for some time a standard DVD of the first Hunger Games film. When it first came out, I initially dismissed it as a JATM (Just Another Teen Movie). But one evening when we were imprisoned by an epic snowstorm, my son, who was visiting us in Pennsylvania, slipped the movie into the player. Thus, I became a reluctant captive. But as the story unfolded, I was able to find some themes that tickled the part of my brain where the knowledge gained during my quest for my Political Science degree is stored. I actually went to the theater to see the second and third ones, and then ordered the trilogy of Ms. Collins' books for my Kindle. The books were every bit as fascinating. I basically read through all three of them in the space of about four days.
By all accounts, I'm far from alone in the fascination for these tales. The books are all best-sellers and the movies have been wildly successful. And everyone is waiting with baited breath for the denouement when it hits theaters next year.
On this particular evening, however, I skipped the movie and went to the special features. It was interesting to hear how the stories were transitioned from print to film, and how unselfish Ms. Collins' was with the inevitable compromises that must be made. But as the interviews unwound, I heard one of the book's editors talk about how the story reminded him "...of the Bush years..." when mothers had to watch their children go off to fight.
That got my attention. I backed up the disc and listened to his repeated comments. Again I felt the slight disorientation that goes with the statement, "But that's not how I remember it."