Since 1992, the number of undernourished individuals around the world has been nearly cut in half. Despite this progress, global hunger is still a deadly problem affecting many in developing countries. In recent years, several movies have used hunger as an important plot component. Whether they are Biography, Sci-Fi or Drama, these movies help raise awareness for the 13 percent of the global population that still struggles with undernutrition. Here are five movies about hunger:
- Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a young man named Jamal as he progresses through the Indian game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” Through flashbacks, Jamal recounts growing up as an orphan on the streets of Mumbai where he and his friends had to pull off elaborate schemes just to get enough money to survive.
Interstellar takes place in future where the world is plagued by food shortage and drought. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a man who sets out into space in order to find a new planet for humans to inhabit. While trying to save his family and the human race, Cooper and his crew find more than they ever expected.
- The Hunger Games
Panem is a land split into 12 districts ruled by a corrupt government. Every year, two children from each district are chosen to participate in a bloody competition called The Hunger Games as punishment from the government. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is from District 12, where the local population is forced to break the laws in order to supply her friends and family with food. Katniss volunteers to compete in The Hunger Games to save her sister, thus sparking her future as “The Mockingjay.”
- District 9
Aliens arrive in South Africa looking for help, but after the dust settles, the South African government is responsible for hundreds of thousands of unruly aliens. The aliens are separated from humans and placed in slums where they must rummage through trash piles to find food and make shelters. When a government agent named Wikus is infected with a strange virus, he must make new allies in order to try and cure himself.
- The Pursuit of Happyness
After his wife leaves him, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) and his son have to endure the ups and down of urban poverty. Even after Chris lands a promising internship, he must fight to provide food and shelter for his son.
While these movies about hunger remind viewers that hunger exists, they also show that hunger is a chief motivation factor for far more beyond curbing an appetite. Success, comfortable living and even the strength to live are directly related to the accessibility of food. The fight to provide food, the central plot element in the movies about hunger, is a very real experience for people all over the world.
– Weston Northrop