Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Jeopardizing Social Justice with Science and Technology

A Reaction Paper on Catching Fire Using the STS Standpoint

Watching Catching Fire thoroughly, one can observe that it does not completely fall on the science fiction category. Though it depicted scientific breakthroughs and technological milestones, it is more of a film that critiques the politics of today’s society masked with a futuristic face. It is a blend of a political allegory and scientific motion picture figment.

The story follows Katniss Everdeen, a brave lady from the District 12 who captured the attention of the “elites” in the Capitol after winning the 74th Hunger Games with her fellow player from the area, Peeta Mellark. In this second instalment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss continues her fight to equity as the issue of social ranking in their generation is very much evident (as portrayed by the unequal social perception to and level of extravagance present in each districts).

Although it remained true to its satirical theme (attacking the social injustice nowadays and the consequence it brought, i.e. coups and rebellions), it certainly did not fail to convey on the one hand the vitality of that mask it used.

The televised game of death, Hunger Games, is actually based on the principles of science (the theory of natural selection stating that the fittest are the likely ones to survive) and technology (the communication platforms and the arena of the game itself). In fact, in the latter part, the film showcased the advent of technology in the future—the creation of artificial lightning, that served as a crucial hint for the movie’s heroine to temporarily end the immoral competition.

In this sense, science and technology are both double-edged swords that pose two results: for the development or for the destruction of the society. Catching Fire is a depiction of the latter. As it was used to establish a 75-year-old game, it led to a fragmented society wanting to escape from its present situation and to live in a better tomorrow.

It is through this illustration and representation that the film industry is used to address to people how science and technology matter. More than a seemingly feigned two-hour entertainment, it is a wake-up call. The power-hunger, in order to be more powerful, is ready to utilize the facets of science and technology. This is in spite of the societal welfare being compromised, jeopardized.

Getting a glimpse of Katniss’ and her nation’s fight to fairness, all we can do now is to wait for Mocking Jay to be immortalized in motion pictures and see how the story comes into a victorious ending. While doing so, why don’t we use that mask employed in the film to mask up and conquer whatever injustice our society is facing today, just like Katniss and her nation, in hope for a better tomorrow.

[Emmy Borromeo, 2010-28664]

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