I finally gave in and watched Avatar in 3D. A friend told me that it was “visually stunning” just like one of those catch phrases meant to entice consumers. I’ve got many thoughts regarding this movie. I couldn’t help but to leave it feeling some kind of way.
Objectively, the movie was a delight to watch. I found the way in which humanoids were made to be included in the “natural world” (something that is usually considered separate from human life–another Eurocentric worldview, but I digress…) to be fulfilling. I enjoyed the vibrant colors, and while I cannot say whether seeing the movie in 3D was so much better than seeing it in 2D would have been, I’m glad that my children enjoyed it.
On the other hand, I also consider the movie to be a bit controversial in ways that the film makers may not have consciously been aware of. The film is basically a Dances With Wolves meets Matrix meets District 9 splashed with any film you can remember wherein White people were doing what they do best: kill, destroy, and ruin the lives of nations of color for the sake of owning that which should not be owned. And that means that this film was, of course, not complete without a White Jesus character who is more special and has a better connection to the deity of people of color than they do.
Self-serving doesn’t begin to explain the mood of this film. No wonder White people feel that they own the world. They rewrite history as they see fit. They create cultural works that reinforce the sense of pride in themselves that is based upon false ideas and stolen legacies. I’m not big on environmentalism. I’ll use the recycle bin if one is readily available, but this film offered an opportunity to make a political statement about the necessity of our environment. While I definitely think that the film makers offered some thoughts in this regard, whatever might have been gleaned in this respect is supremely overshadowed by the story of a White man in a wheelchair on a path of redemption that, naturally, begins with wholeheartedy shitting upon the native peoples of a given land.
This type of story is so not new or refreshing, that I was glad that the there were so many colors on the screen or I would have really felt cheated! I’m still considering writing a formal complaint about not being able to get my two and half hours of life back! We saw this story of the redemptive White man who is really good at heart–the Paul on the road to Damascus–in District 9, Blood Diamond, Dances With Wolves, The Matrix, The Last Samurai, Pocohantas, and so on and so on and so on and so forth. For me, the White man saves us all theme just ruins what I found to be a truly remarkable connection between life and the never-ending essence of energy. Whatever…
…Like watching a two and half hour film of a sexy Black woman slowly undressing only to find that she, in fact, was concealing a white penis, um…I’m cool. You can miss me with that.