[Milton-L] "Avatar" reviewed by Milton
jamesrovira at gmail.com
Mon Jan 25 10:10:18 EST 2010
Avatar is nothing more -- on the level of plot -- than a variation of
the Pocohontas story. Since it incorporates some Disney Romanticism
about native cultures, perhaps we should say Avatar's plot (and
setting and character to a significant extent) is a cross between
Disney's Pocohontas and the 1992 animated feature Fern Gully.
However, given these narrative sources, I think it's a terrible act of
bad faith to see Avatar as a film about what the US did back then.
It's what we're doing now.
The truly perverse thing about the film is that it encourages this act
of bad faith, supports it, and allows its audience to rest satisfied
in it. We can feel good that we're not those terrible awful colonists
who raped and murdered Indians only so long as we don't pay attention
to where our gas, food, and textiles come from and what the US
government does for its citizens to keep prices low. The truth is
that most of the industrial west -- including the authors and readers
of the Guardian -- finances what we see going on in the film on a
daily basis...today. The film helps us to forget that, as the
direction of audience sympathy toward native culture and against
capitalist intruders creates the illusion within its audience that it
cares for native cultures and would not exploit them, while in fact
every member of the audience is financing capitalist exploitation of
native cultures in the act of paying to watch the film, and in a
hundred other small ways on a daily basis.
James Cameron should get a public service award, a.k.a. Oscar.
Great eye candy, though.
What can we do about this state of affairs?
No...really...what can we do about this state of affairs?
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