Drawn from documents of the US Bishops and Catholic Social Teaching this unit on the movie “Hunger Games” aims to help students understand the personal and lived experience of immigrants, and how Catholic Social Teaching offers principles and values that support migrants and the communities that receive them. Students are invited to connect with the experiences of poets whose writing makes vivid their lives as immigrants, or the children of immigrants, and to connect with migration narratives within their own family’s history.
Questions for Discussion:
1. The fi lm opens with glimpses of Katniss in her daily life before she is involved in the games: how would
you describe her life? How does she cope with her situation? What values does she seem to have?
2. There are many visual images that provide a contrast between the poverty of Katniss’ home region and the
extravagence of the capital city. What are some images you have seeen that effectively present poverty and
others that present extravagant wealth, in this country and in other countries. Why are images effective in
helping us contrast the inequalities resulting from unjust systems and structures?
3. In the fi lm, we see how people’s private lives as well as violence is made a spectacle for the “entertainment”
of others. Have you seen this in real life? Why does this happen? Does it undercut human dignity
in any way?
4. Does the main character go through a transformation in the course of the fi lm in any way? Does she remain
true to herself and her ideals? Does anything compromise her in any way?
5. Catholic Social Teaching declares we are social beings. In what ways are the main characters in the fi lm
shown to be social beings? Does the fi lm promote individualism over solidarity with others? When is the
good of the individual shown to be primary? When is solidarity shown to be important? Which is the
most important in the world of the fi lm?
6. What are the problems in the society in the fl im that inhibit a fl ourishing of the common good? Do you see
these problems in any contemporary societies? Is there any sense of what the common good might be for
all the groups in the fi lm?
7. In the fi lm, Katniss does not kill anyone directly, but her choices do lead to the death of others (when she
cuts down the nest of deadly insects, for example, and the insects kill a girl.) Does the story line allow her
any other choices except those related to violence?
8. Is the world of the fi lm portrayed as one in which non-violence has no place? Do the scenes of violence
and death in the fi lm promote violence in any way? What message does the fi lm ultimately give about
violence and about non-violence to young people? Why is non-violence so diffi cult for many people to
understand and support?
9. Why do you think that this fi lm and the books it was made from have so much appeal to young people
today? Does a story about violence and limited choices ring true to young people in any way? Is the fi lm
ultimately a positive infl ucence on young adults tr
CST Themes to Engage Through the Film:
Great inequality among groups in society
Option for the Poor
Respect for Life and Human Dignity
The Common Good
Violence and Non-violence
Tags: Catholic social teaching and doctrine, education for justice, immigration, USCCB