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Review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Tense revolutionary finale ignores mass democracy
Mary Finch, Leeds Socialist Party
The final instalment of the Hunger Games movie franchise, Mockingjay - Part 2, was a tense and exciting end to the series. Where Part 1 focused almost exclusively on love triangles and rebels making propaganda films, as filler for lack of plot, Part 2 goes headfirst into a revolutionary war.
But the struggle to defend the gains of the oppressed Districts' revolution doesn't just stem from the dictatorial Capitol they rose up against.
The film centres on a fight for democracy within the revolutionaries themselves. Their unelected leader, President Coin, has no accountability and receives no input from the working class rebels of the Districts.
Rather than fighting to defend a mass revolution, she quickly begins to see the war in terms of her own individual power. To this end, she uses the same brutal tactics of the Capitol - bombing children and civilians - rather than minimising violence as much as possible.
She prevents Katniss, the film's protagonist and symbolic leader of the revolution, from fighting in battle. Instead she's used as a propaganda figure from the safety and comfort of headquarters.
Katniss's frustration with these tactics is immediately obvious. She sneaks onto an aircraft to join the front lines. Once there, she makes an appeal to the supporters of the Capitol rather than attacking them. "The only fight we have is the one the Capitol gave us!"
The same has happened in real revolutions. When 21 capitalist armies invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks appealed to working class soldiers to fight against the capitalist class instead of for them.
The Bolsheviks also organised their military on a democratic basis, under the elected control of soldiers and workers. They defended the revolution on the basis of the whole working class, not individual leaders like Coin.
The battle against President Coin is also portrayed on a wholly personal basis. Katniss manoeuvres against her alone, making no effort to organise the masses of the Districts.
She makes plans to assassinate President Snow, the dictator in the Capitol. As if this will be enough to end the war - as if the entire system centres on Snow alone.
Killing individual rulers will never create lasting change in society: individuals can be replaced. We have to fight capitalism on a systematic, class basis, and replace it with socialism, bringing the government and economy under democratic workers' control.
This is the only way to break the cycle of oppression, poverty, and war. This is what the Socialist Party fights for.
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