Fans in these Asian nations have been looking forward to seeing the movie, as have Hunger Games fans the world over. However, as the first half of the Hunger Games finale hits theaters, there seems to be concern that the movie could stir up a real life revolution.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 20, 2014
While some may find the move to ban Mockingjay extreme, there seem to be ongoing events that would explain why certain government officials abroad are nervous about bringing the American movie into their theaters.
According to the Associated Press, citizens in Thailand who oppose the military coup, which occurred in May, have adopted the three finger salute as a gesture of protest.
The Thai government has a ban in place which effectively forbids ANYONE from making the gesture in public.
— New Day (@NewDay) November 20, 2014
In a move that eerily echoes something that occurred in Catching Fire, the sequel that preceded Mockingjay, a group of Thai students were arrested at a theater in Bangkok after making the three-finger salute.
Army officials admitted that the students were held for several hours for “attitude adjustment” purposes, although the meaning behind that has yet to be explained.
The punishment has not deterred angry citizens, who see Mockingjay and the other Hunger Games movies as a source of inspiration.
— TIME.com (@TIME) November 20, 2014
Apex Cinemas, one of the largest theater chains in Thailand, made the decision to ban the movie from playing in any of their theaters after the students were arrested. Thai protesters claim it’s because the company was under heavy pressure from law enforcement officials.
However, Apex Cinemas gave their own reason for the removal of Mockingjay, saying that the company was concerned that their theaters were being used for “political movements.”
While it’s not an outright ban, China has allegedly cancelled a Mockingjay premiere indefinitely.
There are an ongoing series of protests in Hong Kong. Though support for pro-democracy activists has waned, some believed the themes in Mockingjay worried Chinese censors.
— Report on Business (@globebusiness) November 20, 2014
The official reason for the delay is that foreign movies are currently outperforming domestic projects.
There are reports Mockingjay will indeed hit Chinese theaters in 2015.
However, this conflicts with claims that China has unofficially moved to ban Mockingjay by canceling the movie’s premier indefinitely.
— Variety (@Variety) November 18, 2014
If Mockingjay was pulled by Chinese government officials for the same reason that a ban occurred in Thailand, it’s actually not such a surprising response. Governments around the world have been known to ban materials or behaviors.
Those items which are viewed as advocating the subversion of government authorities, a category that Mockingjay falls into, could be seen as highly vulnerable to censorship.
[Image Credit: MOVIECLIPS Trailers]