“Panem now. Panem tomorrow. Panem forever.”
We got chills hearing President Snow (Donald Sutherland) recite those words in the newly released “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – part 1″ teaser trailer, and not just because poor, brainwashed Peeta was staring at us or because men dressed fully in white have never felt quite the same since the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” video.
The creepiest part of that line is that it’s almost a direct quote from pro-segregation politician George Wallace’s most famous speech.
He was inaugurated as governor of Alabama in 1963 after winning on a platform opposing black voter registration, endorsing segregation and giving the pro-white voters of a state riddled with race riots a voice to latch onto. In fact, one of his key speechwriters on his successful gubernatorial campaign was Asa Carter, a founder of a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
“In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” Wallace said in his address. The last line in particular was a handy little slogan for those who would work against the Civil Rights movement.
So you can see why it gives us the willies to hear a slight variation on those words coming out of the fictional Snow’s mouth, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s dressed in head-to-toe white as well.
History lesson aside, the overwhelming creepiness just adds to our very strong feeling that “Mockingjay” is going to be awesome. Really, really unsettling, but awesome nonetheless.
Watch the teaser again (and again) below: