The Hunger Games and Mad Max are both prime
examples of art imitating life. Each film in its own way depicts the true
ugliness of a tyrannical and oppressive regime. What’s unique about both these films is their
ability to capture the nuance of how the oppressed behave when they rise against their oppressors. “You will rise from the ashes of this world!” “It’s coming. Get ready.” In both films, the oppressive rulers exercise
complete control over the society’s resources. The leaders in both films hoodwink the populace
about their rights to these resources, and by extension, control over their own lives. For instance, in Mad Max, the masses are tricked
into thinking their desire for water is unnatural. A dichotomy thus ensues between good and evil. On the side of evil, the oppressors, and on
the good side, the oppressed. From the pool of the oppressed some rebels
eventually arise, and in their attempts to reclaim control the rebels behave admirably
in both films. They show much greater respect for human life
than their oppressors–that is, at first. “Scare people so they flee in this direction
to what they think is a safe haven.” “Two tiered explosion?” “It’ll allow people enough time to rush in,
help the wounded, and–” “A second bomb.” “Right. The second one goes off here.” “I guess there are no rules anymore about
what a person can do to another person.” “I don’t think Snow used any rulebook when
he hijacked Peeta.” No rules anymore about what a person can and
can’t do to another person: there are many that believe that this is exactly as it should
be, in times of war we can briefly disregard human rights to service bigger objectives. However, if we attempt to guard human rights
by abusing them, how do we differentiate the abusers from the victims? “The rebels!” The initially noble rebels, among other things,
quickly turn sinister themselves. Attention to human rights flies right out
the window. “A symbolic Hunger Games.” The leader of the rebels proposes a new Hunger
Games, the exact sort of human rights abuse that the rebels had been fighting to put a
stop to in the first place. “You want to have another Hunger Games with
the Capitol’s children?” “You’re joking.” “Not in the slightest.” On the other hand, the rebels in Mad Max after
their victory symbolically restore human freedom by opening the floodgates to water, the very
fuel of life. They make liberty accessible to all. As the Western world fights the war on terror
on all fronts, and attempts to guard its human rights, we must be cautious in ensuring it
does not take the sanctity of individual lives lightly. Victims of human rights abuses can become
perpetrators in the blink of an eye. From privacy to the right to a fair trial,
to the right to life itself, we must ensure that everybody’s human rights are always protected. Somebody must guard the guards, and what better
guardian than unalienable human rights, applicable to all?