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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes gives justice to the Hunger Games trilogy

Photo Credit: Official movie poster via IMDb
As Lucy Gray sings “The Hanging Tree,” chills rush through the audience. Reminding them who they first heard it from.

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a prequel to the “Hunger Games” franchise. Within the story, it has a mixture of Adventure, Action, Sci-fi, and Romance. Lionsgate and Color Force, released the film on Nov.17, 2023. It was produced by Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Francis Lawrence–who also directed it. Tom Blyth (Coriolanus Snow) and Rachel Zegler (Lucy Gray Baird) were the lead actors. “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” currently has a gross of $135.7 million in the United States.

Rating and where to watch:

Rating: PG-13 (Violent Content|Disturbing Material)

Streaming: In theaters and Vudu

How long and age group:

Runs for: 2h 38m

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Age group: 12+

What are the Hunger Games?

The Hunger Games are the Capital’s way to punish the districts for rebelling against them. Each year, they pick a boy and a girl from each district to compete in the arena. “Compete” means they have to fight one another to death, until there is only one person standing. Whoever wins, their district will be provided long lasting supplies of food and water. While they will never have to struggle to eat again.


64 years before Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as tribute, is a world where Coriolanus Snow was just a young kid. Ever since the war between the Capital and the districts, Snow’s family has been struggling financially. That year, the Capital decided to throw in a new reward: whoever’s mentee wins, the mentor will receive the Plinth Prize. Which in fact, would provide money for his family and pay for his tuition. Which he was desperate for.

When the day came to announce the tributes, Snow was assigned Lucy Gray, from District 12. Lucy Gray is not like the other tributes, neither a killer or from a specific district. Like the rest of her family, she is a Covey who has traveled all around Panem, singing her songs.

With their time together, they both are able to understand one another a bit better. They put their opinions aside to be able to help each other through this tough time. As the days go by, Snow finds himself falling for his Songbird. Will he be willing to throw everything away for Lucy Gray, or will he choose wealth?


As someone who grew up watching Katniss Everdeen standing up for what was right, I was ecstatic when I heard “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was in the process. I knew that the producers would deliver, and that is exactly what they did!

While watching the film, it felt like it was 2012 all over again and I was waiting for Katniss to appear on the screen. Of course, I was a bit iffy of how the cast was going to portray the story, but they did a fantastic job. I mean the chemistry between Snow and Lucy Gray made you feel like you were the one falling in love, and not them. “I love the part where he seemed to care about Lucy Gray when she was fighting in the arena…How he ripped out his stitches just to give the snakes her scent and give her a chance to live,” Kristy Lai, a junior at Colonia High School, commented.

I have to say, the slow transition of Snow becoming a psychopath was incredible. I am glad they did not rush that process, but instead let it slowly show. And when Lucy Gray ran away from him! Oh my gosh, I was shocked. I mean, where did she go? Did she run away to the North or hide in District 12? “Oh my god, it was so awesome. It was insane! Snow, I can’t…I have no words,” Erica Cortez, a junior in CHS, expressed. I hope in a few years, Suzanne Collins will answer all of our desperate questions.








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About the Contributor
Daniella Albuquerque
Daniella Albuquerque, Editor-in-chief
Daniella Albuquerque is a 16 year old in her Sophomore year at Colonia High school. She is involved in tennis, Spring Track, Interact Club, Book Club, and Student Council. She has never been athletic but has joined a few sports over the last couple of years, she recently found her love for tennis. Albuquerque is a bubbly person who loves to speak and get to know people whenever and wherever. If you asked her what her favorite hobby would have to be, she would answer with no hesitation: reading. When she isnĀ“t studying or playing tennis, you can find her holed up in her room reading books. Her favorite genre has to be romance with a mix of fantasy. Albuquerque would like to study abroad and major in writing. Her dream is either to work for an important editing company or become a best selling author. With this being her second year with the Declaration of Independence, she hopes she does it well and is informative with what she writes.    

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