Panem isn't a great place to live, even as far as dystopian societies go. Citizens who are lucky enough to live in the more prosperous Districts (or even in the opulence of the Capitol) may have it easy, but for less fortunate people like The Hunger Games' heroine Katniss Everdeen, life is a long, hard struggle towards to the grave. There's also the sticky matter of the government forcing a group of children to fight to the death every year.
One thing that Panem can be proud of, however, is the frankly astonishing fashion available for both men and women. The Capitol's love of lively clothes, hair and make-up means that we've seen Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks in some very unusual outfits during the last couple of Hunger Games movies, and as the country lurches towards revolution in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 & 2, it's important to celebrate that outlandish fashion while we still can.
With that in mind, Lionsgate has released a batch of images celebrating the "District Heroes" of Panem, ostensibly created by the Capitol Ministry of Information. The images show seven of the country's hard-working citizens from different Districts, representing all of the different cogs that keep Panem functioning. Even Katniss' home turf, District 12, gets some representation.
Some of the images are very striking (District 7 suddenly seems like a very attractive vacation destination), while others are a bit dubious (District 6's hero doesn't quite manage to pull off the tire-pants look). What they do succeed at is coming across as the kind of propaganda that the Panem government would release during the troubled times of the rebellion led by "The Girl on Fire."
The Hunger Games franchise has enjoyed plenty of creative transmedia marketing since it first made its way to theater screens, including sites like Capital Couture (Panem's equivalent of Vogue) and an official site for the Capitol government. During the run-up to the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I encountered an interactive bus stop billboard in Notting Hill, with a built-in camera that took my photo and used it to create a Panem citizen ID card. The ingenuity of it probably would have been easier to appreciate had it not been 5AM.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 opens in U.S. theaters on November 21st, 2014, followed by Part 2 a year later on November 20th, 2015.