“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” – A Primer in Propaganda

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There are several great things about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. First off the cast is great by any standard. Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson and, yes, Jennifer Lawrence. Any one of these would normally be the star of the film, but here they all play supporting roles to one another. And they are all great, maybe not their best work, but still great.
Second is the story line. If you enjoyed the Twilight style love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale then you won’t enjoy this movie as much. Also if you enjoyed watching teenagers kill each other in the arena, you won’t like this movie as much either. But if you enjoyed the semi-Orwellian nature of the whole world of The Hunger Games, then you’ll really like this installment. For those not familiar with the books, this is the point in the story where the people begin to openly rise up against the Capital. The revolution has begun and Katniss is right in the middle of it, like it or not.
This brings me to the third thing that makes this movie great. The real world and art are beginning to blend. China has “indefinitely delayed” the movie’s release, due to its overtly political nature. Flashing the three finger salute from the film will get you arrested in Thailand, where rebels earlier this year began using the salute during their protest of a military coup. Most recently protesters in Ferguson MO spray painted a phrase from the movie “If we burn, you burn with us!” on a local landmark. Normally movies try and exploit a current trend to sell tickets and soda. But this time it seems that the movie has hit home with people in a way that the filmmakers may not have foreseen. For better or worse, many people around the world have also lost faith in their leaders and many have grown angry or even violent. These movies have given people a meaningful way to rebel with nothing more than hand gesture.
Whether by plan or totally accidental, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 seems to be an incredibly timely movie. And also a solid movie, maybe the best so far in the franchise.

Topher“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” – A Primer in Propaganda

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