Thursday, March 8, 2012

A “Hunger Games” Alternate/Comparison

As we wait for the teen-girl film of the year later this month, there is another story we can watch. It has life threatening action in a jungle, men against nature and people who would gladly kill them, a woman torn between the love of two men, tests of strength and endurance, governments and earthly powers playing with people and nations like objects, martyrs and the sparks of rebellion. Sure, there are no beautiful teens and no reality TV themes, but in a way that is refreshing. Plus the whole thing is based on real events.

This story addresses most of the very same themes and concerns as “The Hunger Games” but rather than looking at the whole thing from a harshly cynical and nihilistic worldview, it is surprisingly positive and life affirming—even as the main characters end up dead. Instead of protagonists who want to kill themselves in the face of meaningless existence but learn to accept the repetitive wait for a more “natural” death, we get people willing to die for their beliefs, standing up for others, confident that death is not the end.

As a bonus we get a strong political message as well. Instead of a commentary about how things are wrong with entertain-me culture, though, we get a faith-based, even “Christian” critique of secular power in the church. This too is a message that Americans, especially people of faith, need to hear today.

So if you can’t wait for “The Hunger Games” consider watching “The Mission,” especially if you haven’t seen it before. One word of warning though: all that flashy, “fun” violence that “The Hunger Games” criticizes but its fans ironically crave because the story is built on it? You won’t find that in “The Mission.” Oh there is violence; it just isn’t appealing or entertaining. It might even disturb you quite a bit.

(See here for more.)

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