After The Hunger Games

The other day, I mentioned that my daughter’s 8th grade class would be going on a field trip to see The Hunger Games. The field trip was this morning, and I had promised to update the original post with my thoughts on the movie. However, after what I witnessed today,I feel the topic deserved its own post.

First, I want to thank those that took a moment to comment on the original post. I value each of your opinions, and I respect them. I like hearing how you feel about particular situations. We may not always agree, but hearing someone else’s viewpoint can help broaden my own thoughts and opinions.

This morning was the field trip. I was told that I could attend as long as I didn’t bring the baby. Sigh. Like I’d be that dumb. Did they not read my note? I didn’t even want to have my 14 year old there. But, sure, I’ll bring my 1 year old.

After pushing thoughts of showing up with my 5 year old, my 3 year old, AND my 1 year old – just for spite – aside, I arrived at the theater in time to pay for my ticket and go in. I was the only parent allowed to attend the movie. I know many other parents wanted to go just to see the movie themselves, but I was allowed only because I had stated that if I didn’t go, Ashley didn’t go.

The movie itself wasn’t bad. Had I seen it beforehand, I probably would not have allowed Ashley to go with the school. Not because I thought it was too violent, or that she couldn’t handle it. I wish she had read the book because the book explains SO much better the reasoning behind the Hunger Games. A movie just can’t convey the detail that a book can. If she had read the book and we had the opportunity to discuss it in great detail, I would have felt much better about her seeing the movie.

It quickly became clear to me that the children in the theater had no idea what the “story” behind the movie. As we sat there, I was horrified to hear children clapping with each death – or the shouts of “Kill him!” “Slit his throat!” and other such phrases. At one point, I wanted nothing more than to grab Ashley and leave the theater. I wanted to go back in time and say that she wasn’t allowed to go on the field trip at all, and I would force her to read the book and then take her to the movie myself.

The behavior of the children during the movie was terrible. They were not mature enough to sit through the movie, and they were not mature enough to be subjected to that movie. Had they first been required to read the book and then take a test before viewing the movie, I might be singing a different tune. But they weren’t required any of that, and it was clear they were simply there to have a good time.

The first thing I did when I got home was send an email to the Superintendent. I told her basically what I’ve told you here. I know that I’m not like most parents, and that most view it as “just a movie.” That’s just not how things work in our house.

I don’t know that anything will ever come of my letter to the Superintendent. With 30 days left of school, it will probably be written off as nothing more than an upset mom having her say. And that’s fine. We’re switching school districts next year, so I won’t have to deal with this school system anymore. But, you’d better believe I will stand up for what’s right in their new school district. I’ll just be another “one of those” moms.

The movie definitely doesn’t get 2 thumbs up from me. It was good, but not fantastic. And it definitely wasn’t field trip material without a thorough study of the book prior to the movie.

Did your child see the movie? Do they understand the concept, or just view it as “just a movie”?