The Hunger Games and its sequels are fundamentally about the power of media and propaganda. That’s what the titular competitions are, after all—carefully stage-managed advertising designed to keep the people of the decadent Capitol amused and the residents of the impoverished districts cowed. Heroine Katniss Everdeen survives not only through her skill with a bow, but because she and the people on her side understand the need to manipulate the watching cameras in her favor.
The promotional team for the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, which adapts the first half of the trilogy’s final book, seems to have grasped that same necessity. They’ve produced a series of striking promotional images presented as in-universe propaganda posters that celebrate several of the districts responsible for providing the nation of Panem with specialized goods.
Besides being pleasing to the eye, the posters do a wonderful job of storytelling. The first poster, for the favored, technologically advanced District three, is clean and sterile. As the series progresses to the less privileged districts, though, hints of darkness creep in. A man from the transportation district (clad in a ridiculous tire-tread costume which perfectly mimics the Capitol’s obsession with faddish, gimmicky clothing) is dirty and tired. The man from District seven—Lumber—is holding a gorgeous wooden prosthetic for his amputated leg. The series finishes with the gutpunch of District 12, Katniss’ home district: A young girl, dressed as though on lunch break from working in the coal mines. It’s a perfectly captured reminder of the series’ other overriding theme, the dangers of being a child in a world with no interest in keeping them safe.
[via IMP Awards]