Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Includes The Most Controversial Book Scene

Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Includes The Most Controversial Book Scene
Image credit: Lionsgate

The upcoming movie will feature one of the most disturbing moments from the book.

November 17 will see the release of the next installment in the popular dystopian film franchise, The Hunger Games. Titled The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, this film is a prequel to the main story. Based on the eponymous novel by Suzanne Collins, it will explore the challenging recovery period following the First Rebellion. During this time, the Capitol was working to establish a pervasive surveillance system of control while also shaping the Hunger Games into the form they would eventually take during the events of the main series.

Centered around 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow—before he became the ruthless dictator of Panem—the film looks to be a faithful adaptation of the book, judging by the trailer recently released by Lionsgate Movies. This includes one of the most disturbing and controversial scenes from Coriolanus' childhood.

Controversial Scene

At about 1:35 in the trailer, when Coriolanus says he has 'seen what war does to people,' we see young Coriolanus and his cousin Tigris in the war-ravaged Capitol. They witness a man raising a knife over a corpse before the sequence abruptly cuts off.

According to the book, the man was their neighbor, Nero Price, a former magnate in the railroad industry. Stricken by hunger and desperation, Price resorted to an unthinkable act: cannibalism. The body was that of a maid, and he intended to cut off her leg, primarily to help his daughter Persephone survive. Coriolanus would later attend the Academy with Persephone.

Relevance To The Story

While this moment might initially seem gratuitous or excessively graphic, many fans argue that the scene, brief as it is, is crucial for understanding the psychology and formative beliefs of Coriolanus.

'The viewers who haven't/won't read the book need to see that Cory experienced true terror and basically almost starved to death for many years of his life,' a fan pointed out.

For young Coriolanus and everyone around him, the First Rebellion was an era of unimaginable horror and trauma. He and Tigris watched as many people they knew succumbed to starvation, struggling to survive in a world devoid of order and control. These wartime experiences shaped Coriolanus' twisted worldview; he blamed the Districts rather than the totalitarian regime for setting off the horrors that would be indelibly etched into his memory.

Source: Reddit.

Was it necessary to include a moment of cannibalism in the movie?