Mockingjay Part 1 pulled from Thai cinemas after students flash three-finger Hunger Games salute at country's prime minister

Apex cinemas cancelled screenings after political protests were planned

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The Independent Culture

A major Thai cinema chain has pulled screenings of Mockingjay Part 1 after students were arrested for making the three-finger Hunger Games salute at the country’s prime minister.

Apex made the decision after feeling that its cinemas were “being used for political activism”, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The film's plotline centres around Katniss Everdeen’s rebellion against the totalitarian Capitol’s rule and the sign of dissent used by District 12 rebels has been adopted by those opposing Thailand’s military coup.

 

Thai police arrested five university students in Khon Kaen on Wednesday after they were spotted flashing the anti-tyranny symbol at Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who overthrew elected government leaders in May.

They were interrogated and threatened with expulsion unless they pledged to renounce political activism, human rights lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan confirmed.

Apex cancelled its Thursday premiere of the third Hunger Games instalment following the arrests as protests were planned to take place at the cinema.

A spokesperson told the Bangkok Post that the company had not been pressured to cancel screenings by the government.

Directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, the Hunger Games films are based on Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novel series, which has sold more than 65 million copies in the US alone to date.

Mockingjay Part 1 will be released in the UK on 21 November, with Part 2 due to follow a year later in November 2015.

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