‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and Movie Totalitarianism: ‘V for Vendetta’

V For VendettaWarner Bros.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire certainly has no corner on its ability to visualize a dystopic future. Cinema history is packed with noteworthy examples, many of them fairly recent. What makes V for Vendetta stand out from the pack is its social context.

This film rushed headlong at the topic of the international rise in political conservatism and government surveillance during the height of the George W. Bush Presidency, making pointed criticisms at the persecution of LGBT citizens and taking swipes at the rise of Islamophobia as well. It was timely, and captured a cult following, reflected prominently in the use of the Guy Fawkes mask by protest movements like Occupy Wall Street and the hacktivist network Anonymous.

But its clearest moment of overlap with Catching Fire comes in the scenes that depict a citizenry awakening to its own repression, and the power individuals can seize when they finally to join forces against the state.