March 06, 2010
AVATAR: All Energy is Borrowed & One Day We Have to Give it BackThe heavily marketed and hyped AVATAR, which is up for 9 Academy Award nominations this weekend, was as intense and powerful as District 9. Seeing it in 3D added great energy and dimension, particularly to the inner forest scenes, but it also took away from some of the clarity and richness of the characters and surrounding nature.
Not unlike District 9, there's conflict between the exploiting and corruptive nature of rich western culture and the so called "savages," who listen to, integrate with and connect with the soil beneath them.
In AVATAR, these beautiful savages are called Na'vi, the lead character being a curious, passionate and caring female named Neytiri, who deeply protects everything on the land of Pandora, where the Na'vi live. She falls in love with former marine Jake Sully, a human who has been sent to Pandora to bring back secrets of how the Na'vi live so the exploiters can move them off their land or destroy them.
The greed and hunger for conquest and ultimately the profit from capturing the rich minerals that land holds, hits you with a strong reminder not just what we have done abroad to innocent cultures and their lands, but to our own environment at home. I'm all for more movies, plays, books and messages that draw our attention to eco-green mistakes and proactive attempts to make money over protecting the beauty around us.
Sure, it plays into stereotypical evil-white-empire/virtuous-native cliches but why not? Given the lifestyle most westerns live, don't we all need reminding from time to time? The movie is based on an animated children's film called Ferngully.
Okay, now for my favorite lines - yeah I wrote them down on a napkin in the theatre:
Jake Sully: "All I ever wanted was a single thing worth fighting for."
Neytiri: "Energy runs through all living networks. All energy is borrowed and one day you have to give it back."
Jake Sully: He is talking to a tree the night before the bulldozers and guns are due to hit Pandora - "See the world they come from. There's no green there. They killed their mother."
Neytiri: Upon seeing Jake talking to the tree, she responds: "She does not take sides, she only protects the balance of life."
Jake Sully: As he is talking into a video log, he says - "Everything is backward. Out there is the true world. In here is the dream."
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