Mike Renzulli

More About: Entertainment: Movies

James Cameron goes Green

Avatar takes place in the future on Pandora, a moon of a gas giant named Polyphemus, that is located over 4 light years from Earth. Pandora is being explored for certain resources that Earth needs since Earth's economy is bad.
Pandora is a lush, tropical planet filled with unique wildlife and is inhabited by a race of primitive humanoid beings called the Na'vi.
One Na'vi tribe occupies an area that is plentiful in Unobtainium that a private corporation wants to extract since the mineral would be of some use on Earth and is extremely valuable.
The company has also hired former members of the U.S. military to give logistical support and protection to the company's efforts. A U.S. Marine named Jake Sully travels to Pandora to take his dead brother Tony's place in which Jake assumes control of his brother's avatar in order to make contact with the Na'vi.
Jake Sully is paralyzed from the waist down as the result of an injury he sustained while participating in a combat mission on Earth. He is the only person who can successfully use his twin brother's avatar since Jake's genetic material is the same as Tony's.
After assuming the use of the avatar Jake begins the task to win the Na'vi's trust in hopes of convincing them to allow the Unobtainium to be mined. Sully does this so he can get an expensive operation done to receive a new set of legs that is promised to him by the Pandora Earth colony's Marine commander.
Upon interacting with the local Na'vi tribe Jake Sully begins to appreciate their way of life and goes so far as to befriend a Na'vi woman who is also the tribal chief's daughter.
Later Jake becomes torn between his duty as a Marine and the existence of the Na'vi that he has learned to know and love.
Where the movie goes bad isn't so much Jake's conflict as much as it is the movie's underlying plot.
In Avatar the primitive and simplistic lifestyle of the Na'vi and their quasi-Gaia worship of Pandora's ecology is held to be a moral virtue while the company representative and most of the military members are portrayed in the film in a negative light which demonstrates where Cameron's loyalties lie.
We see also see Cameron's political sympathies in one other film he made which was the highest grossing film of all time: Titanic.
Titanic not only generated lots of ticket sales, it is (not surprisingly) the apple of almost every Marxist's cinematic eye. The overall message in Titanic is, simply put, egalitarianism. No one is better than anyone else, we are all equal, wealth is bad, being poor is good and, while you are at it, don't think for yourself.
Now Cameron has weighed in (yet again) with another morally repulsive movie that, like Titanic, portrays self sacrifice as one's highest moral end.
This time Cameron gives a nod to the evil philosophy of environmentalism that calls for the destruction of human life by indirectly calling for people to sacrifice their lives and livelihoods to the needs of nature.
This message is embodied not only by Jake Sully's actions during most of the movie but also the Earth scientist's hypothesis that the ecosystem of Pandora is interconnected and should not be touched. The movie also ridicules criticism of economic development and also condemns utilizing a planet's resources.
A movie-goer could appreciate Avatar from an aesthetic perspective. But these elements are obviously secondary to the film's awful philosophical message and these points along make Avatar the worst movie of the year.
The movie itself is said to be one of the most expensive movies ever made. At a price tag of up to $300 to $400 million Avatar opened this weekend with opening day ticket sales of $27 million.
Not a great start but time will tell how audiences are receptive to it. It is my hope that audiences will take their dollars to see films other than Avatar and reject James Cameron's platform to propagandize for his subtle anti-human plot.

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ryan Bullset
Entered on:

Anti-Human? Anti-Technology? I'm sorry, but you guys are trying to pull themes from the movie way out of context. If anything, this movie is pro-life. It has an overtly "green" message to it. The humans dying just shows that when all you do is take take take from the earth around you without regard for other life, sooner or later the earth will take back what belongs to it. In "real life" we are the ones doing the destroying. We are the ones killing things that can not fight back. The only anti-humans in real life are humans themselves. What we do to this planet on a daily basis is awful and unnecessary and most people just brush it under the rug. Its beyond the debate of global warming and such. I'm talking about a planet that we are trashing and tearing apart piece by piece. Regardless of how it affects the atmosphere around us, sooner or later the earth itself will be completely tapped for resources, and we will be left with a dead planet packed with people and then what? Don't try to twist the message of the movie just because you don't necessarily agree with what the real message is.

Comment by Morpheus Titania
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Having seen the movie, it looks like it is going to win many Oscars.  I marveled at the level of sophistication in all areas.  I disagree with the writer about how the movie is anti technological.   My view is humanity is rushing forward at a rapid rate and we are not looking at what we are destroying to make things "better".  All these "Machines" are not necessarily making our life's better.  Were the purpose of life to acquire a bunch of "stuff" then technology is a good thing.  The down side to this materialistic lifestyle is the great distraction to the real business of life - self discover and communication with the divine.  This is my view of the underlying theme of the movie

Comment by Joseph Brennan
Entered on:

 Having seen "Avatar," this past weekend, I strongly agree with the sentiments expressed, here.  I felt so annoyed at the anti-human, anti-technology messages in this film, it ruined the experience for me.  Furthermore, the "hero" never even tries to negotiate a deal with the natives and stirs up a war between them and the humans.  The anti-human message is so strong, that the hero literally gives up his humanity, to go native.  The tone of this film is disgusting.

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