Real Life Hunger Games

Samantha Verdisco, Staff Writer

Upon the recent release of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, students in Bangkok, Thailand have adopted Katniss’, the film’s female protagonist, three-finger salute to protest the government’s May 22 military coup. The evolving signal in Suzanne Collins’ book-movie adaptation series begins as a symbol of appreciation, but quickly transforms into one of defiance as the story develops.

Natchacha Kongudom, a student, was one of the first to be detained on November 20 after publically displaying the gesture outside of a cinema. Several other arrests followed that day.

Another teenager, although not associated with the symbol, was imprisoned for reading George Orwell’s novel 1984, which describes a dystopian society facing oppression.

Theater chains, such as the Thai chain Apex, have banned THG franchise’s film because they felt it caused turmoil.

Political unrest in Thailand has still continued, due to executive power taking away citizens’ free speech rights. Student activists have not been the only targets for arrest; according to the Human Rights Watch, journalists and those also working in broadcasting have been imprisoned for about a month before being released.

But for the people, these aren’t just movies or books anymore. It’s a sign of hope, inspiring revolution within the nation.