29 November 2013 2:25 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

As fascist states go, President Snow's postapocalyptic Us is pretty phenomenal – if you overlook the games themselves

Three cheers for President Snow! Like zillions of people, I've seen The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, so I suppose I should be furiously opposed to the fascist state he governs. Donald Sutherland, who plays the president, even said he hoped the film would incite its young fans to revolution. But let's not be hasty. Running a country isn't easy and, to give credit where it's due, Snow is doing a tremendous job.

For one thing, his postapocalyptic Us, renamed Panem, has survived for 75 years – which is pretty phenomenal as fascist states go. For another, it boasts full employment. Each of its 12 outlying districts is devoted to a different industry, so nothing need be imported from the rest of the (presumably radioactive) world. How many countries can make that claim?

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- Nicholas Barber

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