Dystopian novels tend to be political where there is a tyrannical political force that is control of every aspect of society, while a smaller political faction might try to overthrow the tyranny. Since there is this political tension, propaganda floods dystopias to try to persuade the general population to hav3e a specific mindset. I would like to take a look at the propaganda seen in the film Mockingjay Part 1.
Propaganda is the main idea of this film is to create propaganda to gain support for a revolution. As the film opened Katniss was asked by President Coin to be the star in propaganda films, but she denies the offer. However, after seeing her home district destroyed by the capital, Katniss becomes the face of the rebellion against the capital in a series of propaganda films. However, we also see the capital shots their own set of propaganda, and the methods of the two are vastly different.
In District 13, Katniss can’t naturally perform the scripted propaganda, so she is actually sent on the field where she witnesses a bombing of a hospital. She then creates a wonderful speech where she talks about the tyrannical nature of the capital using the bombed hospital victims as martyrs. She finishes the propo with the line “if we burn, then you burn with us”. This final line shows the seriousness of the rebellion, and that even if the capital destroys District 13, that the rest of the districts will see the true evil, and the capital will be overthrown no matter what they do.
On the other hand, the capital is using propaganda in a different aspect. Since the capital has Peeta, they use him in a series of interviews as a propaganda tool where he is constantly calling for a seize fire in the rebellion. Since the capital knows that they are weak with some of the districts already rebelling, they use this propaganda to try and create peace; in addition, Peeta tries to appeal directly to Katniss to have her stop the rebellion since he knows that she has some power in District 13. However, it is assumed that Peeta is forced to say the things he does by the capital which makes the capitals propaganda less genuine.
As a result, there is a propaganda war within the actual war. The importance of the propaganda is that if the rebellion or the capital can use the propaganda to get citizens of Panem on their side then the winner of the propaganda war will have the numbers, and even though numbers don’t win wars they certainly do help.