Movie Review: Avatar
I, like almost everyone I know, went to see the movie Avatar this weekend. As you've no doubt heard, the visual effects are simply stunning and the fictitious and digitally created world of Pandora is beautiful with luminescent foliage and magnificent creatures.
The film's environmental message is that the Na'vi, Pandora's race of human like creatures, have learned to live in harmony with the forest and reap its treasures without exploiting nature. They respect the energy in all living beings and seek to protect them, and show thanks and reverence to those they must sparingly use for food. Humans, who have destroyed their own home planet, now come to Pandora seeking to ravage its resources and threatening to destroy any Na'vi which stand in their way.
As much as I loved the visual imagery of this movie, I have to disagree with those who praise this film's supposedly environmental message. What the Na'vi learn is, with some divine assistance and the application of deadly force, an invading race can be destroyed militarily and sent home in shame and defeat. This apparently superior race of creatures has now been taught the art of war. Unfortunately, based on our knowledge of human history, a defeated people tends to go back to the trenches and develop even more powerful force. War does not provide long term solutions and only leads to more war.
If the film truly had an environmental message, this spiritually advanced civilization would teach the invading humans how to respect their planet and repair their own resources.We would have seen that there are long term and creative solutions which solve the source of the problem and do not rely on violence. But that does not a blockbuster make.
Yes, the digital world of Pandora is beautiful and wondrous. But I am partial to our own exquisite planet, fragile as it may be. And I know the human race can be greedy and violent and selfish, but I don't believe that is our own true nature. I have hope that by the time we develop technology allowing us to visit other worlds, the human race will mature and develop creative and long lasting solutions to our environmental problems.
Definitely go see this movie and don't wait for DVD, it is amazing and technologically brilliant. You will be thoroughly entertained. But don't expect to see any new message here. I do love that people are seeing this movie and talking to their families and friends about it, because I do have optimism about the potential of our human race, and perhaps the solutions all start with conversations.