FCC 12: Christian Themes in “The Hunger Games”

On this episode of Finding Christ In Cinema, we take the Capitol Train from District 12 to the Arena and look for Christian themes in The Hunger Games. Are we dead in our sins like Primrose Everdeen? Does Jesus volunteer as tribute in our place? All that and more in 3…2…1!

hunger games, tributes, arena

In The Hunger Games, the odds are rarely in your favor.

To have your name drawn at the Reaping is to be condemned to death. At their most basic level, your chances of survival are 23:1. That’s not counting any personal skills nor the ambition attributed to others with you inside the Arena. It’s no wonder the Capitol has had so much power over the districts for the past seventy-four years: the odds are in no one’s favor.

We get the best image of this despair in Peeta because he loses hope as soon as his name is drawn. We can only imagine the responses of the other tributes. Even though Cato’s reaction was probably priceless, I’m sure we can all assume that the rest of the tributes felt just as bad. They all knew the world they were going to was a broken one – broken and irredeemable.

Irredeemable, that is, until Katniss volunteers as tribute for her sister Prim.

hunger games, katniss everdeen, effie trinkett, volunteer, tribute

It is through Katniss that this world is turned upside down. Through Katniss’s volunteerism – and how she performs in the arena – the bigwigs in the Capitol start scratching their chins with concern. Their way of life may be being challenged once again.

Such is the case for Jesus volunteering as our tribute.

Once Prim’s name is called in the Reaping, she has been given over to death. Sure, you can calculate all you want, but we all know that Prim wouldn’t have made it out of the Arena alive.

Just like Prim, we, too, have been given over to death because of our sin. Sure, you can calculate all you want, but we all know that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Luckily, just as Prim has a sister that volunteered to die for her, we, too, have a Brother that has taken our place in death so that we can get back home to God:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

hunger games, katniss, cesar, dress, girl on fire

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Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is a graduate student pursuing his Master in Theatre Arts degree with Regent University. He is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. You can find him live-tweeting his favorite movies on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever or posting poetry and unsolicited opinions at thebookofbrenden.com
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  • Ron of the Red Oaks

    You may have made this point previously, but…did you ever notice how the people of the “Capitol” are so obsessed wuth all manner of the tributes’ lives, but have no concern for them as humans or the sacrifices being asked of them? I think of the Capitol as being very similar to the city of “Vanity Fair” in John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.” As Christians I think we need to see every person as a human, made in the image of God whose sin has been paid for by the shedding of Christ’s blood. It sure makes any excuses we might use not to share the gospel wither quickly with the mildest scrutiny. Keep doing what you’re doing guys!
    Any chance of seeing a FCiC about the movie “Eragon” or “How to Train Your Dragon”?

  • Brilliant points, as always, Ron! We’ll bring this up on the next episode. And, yes, both those films are going on the list directly. Eragon is my eldest’s favorite book(s)/movie. Thanks for everything – especially the encouragement, brother.

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