I know its old school to needle a cutting-edge writer –director like Cameron about how much better his film would have been, “if only”…But I can’t resist commenting that Avatar certainly scored technologically, but badly, sadly missed the boat philosophically/spiritually despite the promising title taken from Hindu theology.
Avatar’s most glaring discomfort for an anti-war person like me, is that far too much of film glowed sooty orange with explosions, bombs, rockets, grenades, etc., when one might imagine war in 2054 will be more about sound assaults, stun technology, and vaporization of enemies when negotiations fail, or worse before any negotiations at all are undertaken. But pyrotechnical critiques aside, where is the vision of humanity saving itself from environmental rape and pillage via hard-won harmony with the natural world and new worlds yet undiscovered, a sense of shared destiny with all living things on earth and in the universe, and heroism that doesn’t include murdering the enemy, even entrenched corporate oligarchs who have already made frightening headway in destroying the earth?
Perhaps Avatar Two will be more complicated and help viewers appreciate the crucial conversion on the deepest level that we all must undergo if we are to survive. Right now, I am perplexed by 2009 partisan resistance to taxes for the common good, suspicion of the science of climate disruption, and bald-faced religiosity litmus-tests that straight-jacket politicians and academics. Time Magazine notes this week that the President didn’t go to church on Christmas day. What would an Avatar do, go to services to pander to parochial dogma, or to manifest personal independence and vision ?
Ellen V. Moore