By Alissa Wilkinson from ChristianityToday Movies
A few days ago, Imran Siddiquee wrote in The Atlantic about “the topics dystopian films won’t touch”—namely, racism and sexism. Using films like The Giver, The Hunger Games, and Divergent, Siddiquee argues that today’s dystopian films are missing the opportunity to comment on the issues that really do face us today.
I started writing this post yesterday, but as my Twitter feed scrolls past with #Ferguson, I’m more aware than ever that there are some vital critiques in Siddiquee’s argument, particularly about how casting choices in films like The Hunger Games do affect viewers both individually and socially. He never uses these terms exactly, but what he means, I believe, is that what we see on screen shapes how we imagine the world to be—and how we imagine the world can be. Can, for instance, an actor or actress who isn’t white (other than Denzel Washington or Will Smith) save the day in a tale of darkness?