R4E130213 – Avatar (Movie Review) by Douglas Jacoby 11:40
- Avatar is a term from Hindu theology, though it is also common in computer and virtual reality applications. Click here for the origins of the word.
- “Jake” visits Pandora through an avatar, a 10-foot tall blue-skinned alien, though in fact it is Jake and his American friends who are the real aliens! The plot centers around the exploitation of a pristine planet by Americans, and how their efforts are ultimately thwarted, but only after they have brought tremendous destruction.
What was cool
- Extremely visual, colorful. Special effects excellent.
- Just as the main character, Jake, enters the world of Pandora, so we feel like we are entering that world.
- Emphasis on ecology.
- Depiction of the connectedness of all life.
- Brutal exposé of the US military-economic machine.
- Navi (like Hebrew and Arabic words for prophet)
- Eywa (the deity) sounds like the Hebrew word for Eve, or living.
- The planet named Pandora patently portends problems for those who ignore etymology.
- Parallels between Joshua/Rahab and Jake/Neytiri. Click here for more.
- Jake as incarnation – develops empathy. Effort to understand others.
What was off
- Mother earth (Gaia). Worship creation in place of creator — Romans 1. The Bible teaches that idolatry puts us on a slippery slide, morally.
- Creator is a she. While occasionally in the Bible feminine imagery is used of God, usually it is masculine. Not that God is masculine; he is beyond gender. Making the earth female is actually a form of sexism.
- Romanticization, of indigenous peoples, e.g. in Amazonia.
- As far as imperialists, colonizers: one corrupt civilization supplanting another. (Not to justify how the Europeans laid claim to the Americas, enslaving, killing, robbing those who had already been here for 10-15k years.)
- Natives are more advanced than their would-be conquerors? Hmmm….
- Not in terms of technology.
- But they were, insofar as they were more moral than the their exploiters.
- Jake and Neytiri do not marry; they mate.
- Woolly-minded thinking of the New Age movement. To illustrate:
- This film makes us think about missions, emphasizing the importance ot awareness, making the effort to under to understand and connect with other.
- It does a masterful job promoting ecological awareness.
- Finally, it serves as a poignant warning against materialism, which offers an elusive dream. Achieving true happiness and meaning through wealth is “unobtainable”!