(Times Free Press) -- In a dystopian world, in which citizens live under the rule of an oppressive government, children are forced to compete to the death in an annual competition. The winner -- the last one standing -- will receive money and food for his or her district, or state.

This is the world of "The Hunger Games," created by author Suzanne Collins and being brought to life on the big screen starting today.

Unlike another recent literary phenomenon, the "Twilight" series about vampires and werewolves, "The Hunger Games" raises issues far beyond the scope of "What boy shall I choose?" or "What is worth sacrificing for love?"

Instead, the Collins novels focus on the roles of government and citizens, cultural issues and the role of the media.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.