District 12 from "The Hunger Games"

The beautiful mountains surrounding Burke County, in North Carolina, have been the setting of many films, but more recently this splendid area rose to popularity as a set to the eponymous battle royale in the film “The Hunger Games”.

The movie was adapted from the homonymous sci-fi book trilogy by Suzanne Collins and is set in the deep forests of Appalachia. It take place in an unspecified future, after the destruction of present-day North America, in a nation known as “Panem”. Each year Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a boy and a girl to compete in the Hunger Games, a television event in which the youth are forced to fight each other for survival. Katriss is among them, and will have to count on her strong instincts and long training to return home alive in District 12…

The film was shot in the Asheville area, between the Charlotte, Shelby, Black Mountain, Hildebran, Barnardsville, Concorde e Cedar Mountain communities; but one of the story’s key places, District 12, is set in the ghost town of Henry River Mill Village, near Hildebran, along the I-40 about one hour east of Asheville by car. The village was founded in 1904 with the construction of the cotton mill and the promise of workplaces and prosperity. But as it often happens, even this flourishing place was destined to failure…

The mill became less and less useful and was ultimately closed in 1973. But the town had started slowly dying long before then: people were leaving to look for a brighter future and in 1987 Henry River Mill Village became a ghost town for good. All that’s left are decaying buildings of a town especially modern for the old industrial age. It became the property of a 83-year-old man named Wade Shepherd, who lives in the vicinity and bought it to save it from vandalism. Today Henry River Mill Village regained a breath of life thanks to “The Hunger Games”, bringing many tourists come to see with their own eyes the District 12.

In our website you can see a trailer of the film.

Source: atlasobscura

Translation by Marco Salvadori

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