Mockingjay, Part 1 Spreading Much Needed Fire

by December 2, 2014
filed under Activism, Entertainment
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“Fire is catching! If we burn, you burn with us,” Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) shouts at the camera amidst the rubble of District 12. She directs this statement at President Snow and the Capitol.

Mockingjay, Part 1 tops the previous two movies even in the smallest of ways. For one, the mockingjay symbol is far more active in this movie, with its wings spread out and head raised in a seemingly more defiant pose.

The film, which came out on Nov. 21 and brought in over $120 million in ticket sales, shows the first half of the last book in the Hunger Games series. Katniss is certainly a role model for the gurls of the world, but Part 1 shows her beginning as an iconic revolutionary.

Mockingjay, Part 1 introduces other revolutionaries such as Cressida (Natalie Dormer) a resident director from the Capitol who joins the rebellion with her camera, and Katniss’ younger sister Prim who begins her calling as a nurse to heal those wounded from battle. Even Effie decides to join the rebellion, taking a large role in raising Katniss’ confidence. Female leaders are all over this film, with Katniss at the forefront.

Despite her battle in the last two Hunger Games and the deaths of many around her, Katniss finds strength to keep fighting. She doesn’t immediately agree to become the face of the revolution, but soon comes around as the reality of the damage President Snow has inflicted on her people is revealed.

District 13 President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) presents another strong female character in the film, though decidedly icy. She reveals few emotions as she feeds the revolution using Katniss as its icon – and understandably so as the rebellion depends on it.

Mockingjay, Part 1 doesn’t pack as much action as the previous two movies, but the imagery involved is equally if not more gripping. Katniss spends several minutes in the rubble of District 12 in one of the most moving scenes of the series so far. Another element that trumps action is the prevalent feminism throughout the film.

“Women are over 50 percent of the population,” Natalie Dormer told Glamour Magazine. “It’s one of the few films that actually represents us. What we’re aiming for in the industry is not to go, ‘Girl power! Wave the flag!’ We want to get to a place where the gender is irrelevant, because then it’s about the personality, and about the story.

What I love about Mockingjay, Part 1 is that President Coin or Cressida could have easily been played by a man, and if you look at Interstellar, the Anne Hathaway or Jessica Chastain roles would have been men years ago. I’m glad that cinema is catching up to what television has known for a while: That three-dimensional, complex women get an audience engaged as much as the men.”

In the wake of events such as Ferguson, the rebellion in Mockingjay, Part 1 isn’t a far cry from the truth. Jennifer and Natalie portray characters that allow gurls to see revolutionary women in action and become motivated to make their own passions real.

You don’t have to go out and overthrow a government to take steps for change, but on the small scale one might consider looking into how to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. Volunteering at a soup kitchen, getting involved in a political campaign or working for a nonprofit organization are all great ways to help human rights progress. The possibilities are endless, and despite the fact that the Hunger Games series is a work of fiction, that series came from an idea – and ideas catch fire.

What were your thoughts of Mockingjay, Part 1? Let us know in the comments below.


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