The Hunger Games: Age Appropriateness?

4:10 PM

 
How young is too young?
   I read the books and have seen The Hunger Games movie twice already.  At the premiere Thursday I noticed a lot of young children/teens in the audience.  I didn't think much of it at first.  I was 8 when I first saw Titanic and I wasn't upset by the floating mannequins in the ocean then.  So why would this be any different for these kids?  But as I sat crying during the Rue scene I couldn't help but think that those kids shouldn't be watching it.  I know you need parental supervision to see it because it's technically PG13, but should there just be a set limit like no one under 13 can see it at all?  And should there be an age limit on who can purchase the book?  

I think if a new law was placed to prohibit children under a certain age to see it there would be an uproar like the SOPA incident.  Society freaks out when there is any censorship.  But if parents aren't doing their job and researching what their kids are seeing before they go to the movies, then should the government act as the parent and decide for them?  What about with books?  I find it strange that a 13 year old can't rent a rated R movie without being carded, but can borrow any book they want from the library.  I'm usually against censorship, but seeing those young kids in the theater really made me think.   

For me the actual violence of the movie wasn't too upsetting because it was done very well.  The camera shots were quick and slightly shaky since it was from Katniss' point of view so you didn't see everything too clearly.  It also didn't show the tributes lying dead for too long.  A quick glance at them lying on the ground and then it panned away.  There wasn't too much blood either.  I felt reading about their deaths was wayyyy worse.  I remember almost throwing up while reading because I was so disturbed by the descriptions and how cruel it all was.  Somehow it didn't have the same effect on me on the big screen.  Maybe it was because my generation has become numb to watching violence (don't get me started...that could be a whole other post lol).  

I wonder if the violence was too much for those kids though.  And not just the violence, but the emotional rollercoaster Suzanne Collins takes the audience on.  When Katniss volunteers for her sister all I could think about was my big sister and how she would have probably done the same.  As Prim is being ripped away from her sister's arms I had to remind myself that I was in a public place and forced myself to hold back my tears.  And I know I am not the only one.  I heard sniffles all through out the theater.  So if a 22 year old like me was finding the movie very emotional I can't imagine a 10-15 year old processing it.  

What do you all think?  Do you have children or siblings who saw it?  What age do you think is appropriate for them to read and see materials like this?

Here's what some other people think: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/604080-appropriate-for-what-ages          

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