Panem's president has some propaganda for us as we gear up for the release of the first part of the final installment of The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay. In the video, which essentially serves as a teaser to the film, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) explains how the districts serve the Capitol and the Capitol serves the districts. "Your hard work feeds us and in return we feed and protect you," Snow says. "But if you resist the system you starve yourself." The camera begins to pan up and we see our beloved sweet Peeta standing blank-faced next to the President.
For those who have read the final book in the series—spoiler alert—we know this is the tortured and brainwashed Peeta, whose condition is one of the most disturbing elements of Suzanne Collins' trilogy.
Lionsgate is continuing its savvy, but on some level controversial, marketing strategy as it starts to promote the fourth film in the series. The promotional materials for the film are designed as if they are coming directly from the villains, the Capitol, prompting some close reading on the part of fans. Upon the release of Catching Fire, and news that there might be a Hunger Games theme park, we wrote about how this at times comes off as if the studio missed the point of the books. The marketing—recently the studio released posters featuring oppressed District Heroes—is still making some queasy. Yesterday at Vanity Fair, Joanna Robinson wrote "Why Does the Hunger Games Advertising Keep Aligning Itself with the Bad Guys?"
Still, if you're a discerning enough consumer, there's something brilliant about this unsettling technique, and we're eager to see what else is in store.