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Stephen L. Carter

'Mockingjay' Can Only Echo Our Problems

"The Hunger Games" has become a backdrop to many political conversations, but can't resolve them.
What would Katniss do?

What would Katniss do?

Photographer: Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images

I headed out in the snow on the night before Thanksgiving to catch up with “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.” I enjoyed the film, although perhaps in a the-third-“Star-Wars”-movie-was-fun-but-not-as-good-as-the-second-and-I-don’t-believe-the-Ewoks-could-have-beaten-the-Imperial-stormtroopers sort of way.

What struck me was that the wintry weather hardly put a dent in the crowd. I’m not entirely surprised. Suzanne Collins’s mythical nation of Panem and her reluctant rebel Katniss Everdeen exert a cultural tug that transcends story. In particular, “The Hunger Games” has become canonical in the sense that it furnishes background even to political conversation.