If you take the subway, there’s a good chance you’ve seen posters with Jennifer Lawrence splashed across the front, and “Mockingjay Part 1” written in big letters. These posters advertise the first part of the Hunger Games finale, Mockingjay, based on Suzanne Collin’s novels.
The movie continues its predecessors with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) being in District 13, the district that no one knew existed, because the government had kept it hidden. Her courage during the Quarter Quell inspired the nation, and rebellions have been breaking out throughout the districts. President Coin, the leader of District 13, asks Katniss to be the “Mockingjay,” and the voice of the people.
However, it appears that these Hunger Games rebellions are not purely fiction. On November 20th, the day of Mockingjay’s release in Thailand, hoards of students mobbed theaters and flashed a salute from the Hunger Games, used to represent protest and rebellion. This may seem harmless and innocent, but the Thai government did not perceive it that way.
Instead, they saw the sign as a threat of rebellion against what some believe to be an unstable government, which might have proved to be dangerous. As a result, they detained the five students that were the leaders of the mob and brought them to military authorities.
In an interview with the New York Times, the director of the Hunger Games, Francis Lawrence, stated, “Part of it is sort of thrilling, that something that happens in the movie can become a symbol for people, for freedom or protest.” But he added, “When kids start getting arrested for it, it takes the thrill out of it, and it becomes much more dangerous, and it makes the feeling much more complex. When people are getting arrested for doing something from your movie, it’s troubling.” It seems that the Hunger Games trilogy is controversial in the sense that although it has sparked revolutionary fervor throughout the world, it has brought some unintended consequences as well.