Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/837/19831

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 December 2014

Film review

Mockingjay: Part One

Leeds University Socialist Students member Mary Finch reviews the latest in the Hunger Games trilogy.

It's not often than mainstream cinema shows revolution - but that's exactly what the Hunger Games trilogy is all about. When we enter District 13 in Suzanne Collins' book series that inspired the films, all the districts (the poor, working class areas) are already in full rebellion against the Capitol (where the super-rich and the brutal politicians live on the fruits of the districts' labour).

Mockingjay shows the role of the masses in a revolution - the districts are depicted taking strike action, refusing to provide the Capitol with its essential goods.

This film is mainly about the leaders of the revolution trying to convince main character Katniss to take up her place as its figurehead ('the Mockingjay') and help them spread the message about the rebellion.

Oppressed groups

It's positive that Mockingjay represents groups that are oppressed in real life, and further marginalised on the big screen. Katniss, the lead character, is a working class woman. Another character, Finnick, speaks up about being 'sold by the Capitol', and being a male survivor of sexual violence, when many people believe it's not even possible for men to be raped.

Effie is made fun of in the film for her inability to adapt from the glamorous lifestyle in the Capitol to life in the districts. But her obsession with fashion and physical appearance later becomes of paramount importance. Society looks down on men and women for being interested in traditionally feminine things - while Effie's interest in them is recognised as essential when it comes to turning Katniss into the Mockingjay.

Older women with high-level careers, or any degree of power, are often demonised and attacked for it - President Coin, the leader of the rebels, receives nothing but respect.

But Mockingjay falls down at significant points. All the main characters are white; and the film's politics are confused. While showing that the masses are in action, the film's emphasis is on the role of individuals. The assumption seems to be that if Katniss plays her part as the Mockingjay, and the propaganda can be distributed to all of the districts, everyone will automatically join the struggle.

Mass movements and revolutions need leadership, but they also need socialist politics. Socialists know that ordinary people create the wealth, so ordinary people hold the power to change society. Historically, revolutions have seen strike action, mass protests and mutinies - all these things are depicted in the film.

But President Coin runs District 13 on the basis of her prerogative. A socialist revolution would empower ordinary people to decide how the struggle is organised and how society is run.

Fundamentally, nothing has changed in the new society in District 13. They have to change if a revolution is going to succeed. If the rebels succeed in implementing capitalist democracy, the repression of the Capitol might change or disappear but inequality would remain, and with it, all the prejudices that capitalism creates and uses.

Nonetheless many people will be inspired by the Hunger Games trilogy. If you consider yourself a socialist, or think we need a revolution - join Socialist Students and help us build one!

Mary has also reviewed the first two Hunger Games films, which can be found at www.socialistparty.org.uk (from issues 714 and 791 of the Socialist).

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 10 December 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Osborne's savage cuts: No return to the 1930s!

Reject the lie that is austerity

Europe: a new wave of workers' struggle has begun

Save our NHS

Tenants can resist Scrooge landlords

Climate change: Sacrificing the future

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Uprising against police violence in the US


Socialist Party workplace news

London bus drivers: Same job - we want the same pay!

1,000 firefighters march to defend Ricky Matthews

Students join Lambeth walkout

Sharpak Yate packaging strike

Rail franchise jobs: TUPE or not TUPE?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We have a world to win!

Socialist Students: fight for free education

Election appeal: finding cash to fight the cuts

Campaign news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

The 1914 Christmas truce

Mockingjay: Part One

Broadband giants' expensive battle

Quiz 2014


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 December 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Film:

triangleFilm Review: The White Tiger

triangleFilm Review: Dear Comrades!

triangleTV review: Red, White and Blue

triangleTV: The Social Dilemma

triangleCripTales: A painful reflection of a system that pits us against each other

Socialist:

triangleLiverpool Labour meltdown - Fight for socialist policies

triangleGetting the Socialist out in lockdown

triangleEast London Socialist Party: A fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

triangleJustice for Moyied Bashir

Revolution:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Engels' book 'Socialism - Utopian and Scientific''

triangleTen years since the 'Arab Spring'

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Trotsky's 'Permanent Revolution' and its relevance today

Films:

triangleDarkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

triangleLondon: Campaign Kazakhstan discussion and cultural evening

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

24/2/21

Review

Film Review: The White Tiger

24/2/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

24/2/21

LGBT

Tories tout toilet tensions

24/2/21

LGBT

Pride flag is about unity in struggle

17/2/21

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

17/2/21

Film

Film Review: Dear Comrades!

10/2/21

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party - a student

10/2/21

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party - a nurse

10/2/21

Labour

Starmer ditches Labour movement tradition for cheap trick

10/2/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

10/2/21

Africa

Book that inspired me: God's bits of wood

3/2/21

Hedge funds

GameStop: Billionaires hurt at their own game

3/2/21

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

27/1/21

TV

TV Review: It's a Sin

27/1/21

Disabled

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999