Hunger Games is a Coal Movie

THE HUNGER GAMES2012, Lionsgate

2012, Lionsgate

With Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Silver Linings Playbook, it seems like an appropriate time to highlight the energy content of her other big 2012 hit The Hunger Games.  It’s a coal movie.  District 12, which is the home for Catniss, is a coal-mining district. And, just like all coal movies, there’s a scene of miners going down the elevator shaft before an explosion (at around the 1h29m mark).

The location is presumably Appalachia, as per the poverty, the trees, and the hills (it was filmed in the Appalachian part of Georgia).  As with other coal movies, the miners are poor and the autocrats are rich.

The poverty is symbolized by women carrying buckets of water, pushing the classic stereotype that piped water is equivalent to wealth, and women carrying buckets of water is equivalent to poverty.

There are many relevant energy appearances, but my favorite is during the reaping, for which a coal train serves as the backdrop during the movie’s most climactic scene. The words are “CAPITOL COAL” but the letters “CA” and “OL” in “Capitol” are bright, and “PIT” is soft.  The contrast produces the phrase “COAL PIT” or “PIT COAL”.  The reaping is dramatic and dangerous, but it is also an escape from the very real drama and danger of the coal pit, as the visual imagery in the background tells us.

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