The Problem with Cameron's "Avatar"

Thursday, January 28, 2010
By Phil Elmore

The real problem of this visually stunning movie is the message it sends. By the climax of the film, you’re supposed to be on the edge of your seat pumping your fist in the air, shouting, “Yeah! Get those lousy capitalist, despoiling humans! Drive those nasty humans back to their dying planet! Because…” And then you stop and think. “Uh… wait. Aren’t we the humans?”

The message of the film is that humanity is intrinsically evil and that the military is comprised of heartless, bloodthirsty baby killers. The movie’s protagonist first betrays and turns his weapons on his own fellow Marines — and then ultimately gives up (or so we’re made to hope) his own humanity in order to complete his transformation from human to Na’vi. In his own narration, Jake tells the viewer that the hated humans are being “sent back to their dying world” — where, presumably, their search for Unobtanium thwarted, they will join the choking, suffering throngs of their fellow despoiling humans until they all die a slow and miserable death.

The movie is technologicaly impressive, but philosophically, it’s the most hateful thing anybody in Hollywood has ever managed to create. It casts as the villains of the film the entire human race, and asks its human viewers to cheer along when that hated species is confronted with its well-deserved doom.

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