Israeli Exhibitors Strike Image of Jennifer Lawrence from ‘Mockingjay’ Poster
Today brings the wide release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (or, as I have taken to calling it for clarity’s sake, Hunger Games 3 2) and while American fans have been worked into the customary new-premiere frenzy, Hungermania has spread across the four corners of the globe. One of the many secrets to the franchise’s continued success has been its international appeal, the themes of freedom’s triumph over oppression resonating with audiences across Europe, in East Asian markets, and just about everywhere else that movie projectors roll. But a global presence can highlight some curious cultural differences.
Variety notes that exhibitors in some regions of Israel have stricken the image of Jennifer Lawrence from posters promoting Hunger Games 3 2 on religious grounds. Most cities in Israel have run the regular poster, which depicts Lawrence as protagonist Katniss Everdeen with her trademark bow-and-arrow drawn against a fiery background, but a select few areas adhering to higher standards of Orthodoxy have had to make some alterations. In the suburb of Bnei Brak as well as some neighborhoods of Jerusalem, censored versions of the poster featuring only a flaming crown have been substituted in an effort to avoid any sacrilege.
Some of the more conservative factions of Judaism regard the image of the female form as licentious and not fit for public display — it’s not unusual for Orthodox publications to heavily edit or entirely cut images of women from their pages. Advertisements in the public sphere that bear images of women will often be vandalized or removed as well, and the Israeli PR firm Nur Star Media was hoping to avoid any trouble. VP of marketing Liron Suissa made a statement on the decision:
“Unfortunately we are subject to unofficial coercion that forces us to be more careful. We have had endless vandalization, and clients prefer not to take the chance ... We allow everything, but we recommend hanging another visual when necessary. The decision is the client’s.”