“The Hunger Games” comes to life

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins has not only been popular as a book series but also as a movie series, especially with the recent release of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” on November 21.

However, the United States wasn’t the only country that was affected by this film series. The influence has spread across the world, including countries such as China and Thailand, and the governments of these nations are concerned about it.

As “Mockingjay” is primarily based upon the rebellion and overthrowing of an authoritarian and tyrannical government, it seems to have given many activists ideas for a silent rebellion.

In Thailand, people have become frustrated about the new military coup leaders, who took over the government on May 22, and consequently rid the country of democracy and elections. In response, on November 19, protestors and students adopted the three-finger salute from “The Hunger Games” to show their anger at the junta leader, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha. Shortly after, the theater premieres of “Mockingjay” were cancelled in Bangkok.

The anti-coup protestors in Bangkok have also shown their resistance to the government in the theaters. Three students were taken into custody and the salute is now banned in Thailand. Violation of this ban can result in possible arrest.

On Twitter, Manik Sethisuwan posted: “Dear #HungerGames. We’ve taken your sign as our own. Our struggle is non-fiction. Thanks. #ThaiCoup #Thailand.”

According to the “Washington Post”, the Thai military responded with: “If it is an obvious form of resistance, then we have to control it so it doesn’t cause any disorder in the country.”

This is not the first time that Thailand has censored signs of defiance or resistance. The military government has shut down all protests, prohibited groups of more than four people and arrested activists that seemed to be a threat. According to “The New York Times”, a student has also been arrested for reading George Orwell’s “1984” in public.

China has also started to take action against the movie series and salute. The release of “Mockingjay” was delayed until an unannounced date in January 2015. Even the Asia press tour that was going to be held in Beijing has been canceled.

According to the “China Times”, the current rebellion and unrest in Hong Kong has been the main reason for this censorship. The “Mockingjay” movie’s showcase of rebellions and revolutions have caused China to think twice about releasing the movie to the public. However, “International Business Times” has stated that neither China nor Lionsgate, the production company of the series, has given an explanation to why the movie release has been delayed.

Previously, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Skyfall” were also postponed in China, according to “The New York Times”.