In Catching Fire, we return to Panem, the post apocalyptic dystopia first seen in The Hunger Games.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is coming to terms with life after breaking the rules of the brutal Hunger Games in the first film.
The state forces young “tributes” from different districts to fight to the death in a televised tournament, as an act of penance for an earlier rebellion.
But her act of defiance has inspired uprisings, and President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland) threatens Katniss’s life and family in the hope of forcing her to help suppress them.
The Hunger Games trilogy that the films are based on tell a story of revolution.
Sutherland says he hopes that it will inspire young people to lead a revolution against global injustice and state repression in reality.
Katniss has become a role model for a generation of young women and girls around the world.
And the rebellions in the film will strike a chord with thousands of young people. It shows people defying the government, and the state fighting back with brutality and further poverty.
The repression handed out by President Snow’s Peacekeepers recalls the policing of protests against austerity.
But most importantly, we see the way class forces are so easily tipped in our favour. Even President Snow has to admit that the system he has helped create is actually very fragile.
When every district rises up and the power of the state begins to crumble Katniss has to decide which side she is on.
The idea of revolution has been coming back into mainstream discussion recently—and the Hunger Games contributes to this in a very imaginative way.