Propaganda-Packed 'Hunger Games' DVD: 'Written In Frustration Of The Bush Era'

Lauren Thompson
By Lauren Thompson | August 24, 2012 | 5:13 PM EDT

America is a totalitarian regime. Or, it was when George W. Bush was president. And maybe it still is. Or something.

As if we needed more proof that blockbuster entertainment needn’t have even a nodding acquaintance with cogent political thought, the people who brought us Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” franchise can’t just quietly take their millions to the bank. They need us to know how unfair their payday is.

“The Hunger Games” DVD, released Aug. 18, contains a special features section filled with interviews explaining how the movie highlights the evils of American capitalism and the horrors of life under the Bush regime.

In the special features section called “Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games Phenomenon,” David Levithan, an editor for the publisher (Scholastic), tells views that “The Hunger Games” was “written in frustration of the Bush era.”

Amanda Belcher, who runs the popular “Hunger Games” blog,, warns viewers that even though “this book is about horrific events, it’s not that far-fetched from things that are going on today.”

Levithan really, really tries to make sure audiences know who the real villain of the story is:

“These books were written in the heart of the Bush era. The commentary there is it is written in this last regime. These feelings of disenfranchisement haven’t gone away.”

I don’t recall Bush demanding that each state should offer up their children to fight to the death on reality television.

Was it around the time he let Ted Kennedy write education “reform,” or when he was expanding the Medicare entitlement?

Actor Donald Sutherland (who plays dictator President Snow in the movie), uses his appearance in the special features to praise the Occupy Wall Street movement – and declare that it’s “absolutely time” for a revolution.

“[The Hunger Games] is an allegory of this imperial power, this oligarchy of the multi-rich, this 0.1 percent,” droned Sutherland.

Sutherland has shilled for Occupy Wall Street before and (of course) is an actual member of that imperial 1 percent. His net worth is estimated at $40 million. (Though, in fairness, that’s only $39.7 million in Canadian dollars, and Sutherland is from Toronto …)

Sutherland went on to predict the Occupy movement will produce a “leader” for the upcoming revolution:

“[The Hunger Games] so clearly and carefully echoes [today]. I think the people with Occupy Wall Street and Occupy L.A., out of those people will come a leader. It has to. It’s time, it’s absolutely time.”

To date, the Occupiers haven’t produced much beyond theme parks for vermin, so Mr. Sutherland seems a bit too optimistic.

In the same vein, Drew McWeeny, a senior-reviewer at, stated that Americans are already “living through” the content of “The Hunger Games”:

“Obviously there’s not going to be an open revolution in the streets of Panem, but I think there are major changes coming and situations to be addressed.

“Her [Suzanne Collins] book will continue to resonate over the next few years. It will be fascinating to see how real life and her work parallel over the next couple of years.”

Here’s looking forward to hearing this type of incisive commentary in about 10 years when Levithan may remind us that the “The Food Stamp Games” was “written in frustration of the Obama era.”

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