Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Avatar, Anti American, Anti Military or just a call for common sense?

We watched Avatar on DVD last night, fresh in at our local video rental shop.   The graphics were, of course, wonderful, full of faultless CGI but the film was so immersive that I took that for granted after a while.  What I didn't expect was a great story... 

Its set off world where the terrans are mining the wonderfully named "Unobtanium" and the hapless indiginous population of the planet is getting in the way of the corporate greed for more.  The aliens are living in harmony with their planet where every living thing is connected and depends upon keeping a delicate balance for survival.  The human invaders make a half-assed attempt at deplomacy before deciding just to take what they want by force of arms.

The parallels with human history are there in abundance. But more striking is the current battle of words about global warming, or the lack of it depending which side you are on. While one side is happy to destroy without thought for the consequences, quite happy with "business as usual", the other side see's its world being destroyed by ignorance, their pleas unheard.  At the centre of this conflict is a lone GI, "of the Jar Head clan", who bothers to take the time to understand the other sides point of view and decides he's on the wrong side.

Some people have written  that the film is anti-American and anti-military, but nowhere is it claimed that the corporation is American, and the wrong doers are not "the military" but a bunch of hired mercentaries. Any similaritieas must therefore be in the mind of the accuser, who surely believes that corporate America is like that and that it is their military might that made the USA great.   Personallly I think its films like Avatar, and freedom of speech that makes democracys like the US great.  Avatar is a warning of how our world could become if we take sides and stop listening to each other;  its not science fiction, its reality TV!

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