Sometimes a great piece of fiction can transcend the movie screen or the page of a book and make its way into real-life situations. This now infamous and often joked about hand gesture has caused a lot of trouble for five students in Thailand who were fed up with the actions of their government:
If you are a fan of the [The Hunger Games](movie:44466) series, you know that this is the signal for resistance used by members of the poorest districts to show silent dissent against an unjust authoritarian state. And now, on the eve of [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1](movie:446261) hitting theaters, we see reports of students organizing to protest a coup d’état in Thailand - one of the most historically oppressive countries in the Far East.
Some protesters in Thailand have also said the salute stands for the French Revolution’s trinity of liberty, equality and fraternity. I first heard this, and I thought it was interesting, but after thinking about it more carefully, I really think this demonstrates the power of film.
Katniss Everdeen may be a fictional character, but this fictional resistance inspired a REAL-life protest by five young men who saw similar actions work on the big screen and decided to give them a try in their real lives in an effort to make a real impact. And since this became a news item, and the men haven't been charged of anything, this is certainly a small victory to all of those who don't support the coup.
Also, what I really like about it is that it's completely peaceful and non-violent. Still, it's pretty cool to think of those five young Thai protesters throwing up a silent signal that other young Thai citizens saw and immediately recognized in a way that the older, oppressive regime didn't.
It's pretty amazing when you think about it, right?