My husband is male bonding in a forest somewhere with a friend. Seriously, they are wild camping with their respective sons. In a tent somewhere. In the wild. In November.
I have been having a much more civilised time (sort of) with my daughter, involving shopping, eating sweets and watching films. We did intend to watch Hunger Games:Catching Fire but it hasn’t hit the cinemas of Manchester yet, so we headed home with our sweets and watched the first Hunger Games instead.
I have to confess that this series of books was a guilty pleasure of mine. When I first got a Kindle, a couple of years ago, I went through a phase of reading Young Adult novels and devoured the Hunger Games trilogy within a week (one thing I discovered about a Kindle is that when you end a book at 12 midnight, on a cliff hanger, there is only one thing to do: download the next one and carry on reading until your eyes won’t stay open). I was interested in the fact that Suzanne Collins, the author of this trilogy, learned about warfare, survival techniques and peace studies from her father, who had been in the Army. Although she writes about a dystopian future, most of the ideas in the book – for example the genetically mutated animals trained to attack humans – sound like things the US Army has probably already developed, or will do soon.
The film is faithful to the book, taking the same shape it took in my imagination. I tried to talk to my daughter about the ideas in the film, but it proved difficult
‘Mum,’ she asked ‘would you rather be one of the people in the Hunger Games or one of the people in the Capitol?’ or ‘if this was real, would you let me watch it?’
The film takes the idea of reality TV to the extreme, in a world where the rulers from the wealthy Capitol force children from poorer districts to fight to the death, for their entertainment. The idea of reality TV is so familiar to my daughter that she didn’t seem to get the satire. Still, it made for some interesting discussion.
All in all, not a bad mother/daughter bonding day. I wonder how it’s going around the campfire?