Avatar – watch with one eye closed

29 January – Update – for more analysis, commentary & opinion on the gender/race/colonising politics/themes of the film, go to Sociological Images (Thanks SRP for the link)
Update 2 – Another analysis on Avatar on the blog – As The Teaching Drum Turns blog.


Just a quick blog to start myself blogging again. Went to see Avatar on Christmas Eve with the kids. It was good. Everyone loved it. Everyone seems to love it. I guess I liked it. But there’s a couple of ways I’m reading it – or maybe there’s a few different perspectives I’m viewing it from.

The first view is that it was visually very good. You couldn’t tell where the animated beings started and human beings ended. The “real landscape” which must have been animated because there are no landscapes like that on earth – was completely convincing.

The second view is that its probably a good text for students who are wondering about the experience of Indigenous people. There are two completely different world views/systems fighting for the same piece of land – they’re are and always be completely incompatible. Yes, Invasion Day is coming up soon in Australia – so its kind of fitting – not a bad text for stimulating discussion.

The third and problematic view however is that, do we really need a whiteman to fix the problem again? Just like Dances with Wolves and a host of other movies I’ve seen. Or its like the movie where despite there being much more capable women & men in the landscape – apparently only this new dude is capable of saving the day? Its actually pretty offensive, though a popular Hollywood/Western theme.

Of course, most Indigenous people are still fighting have their sovereignty recognised and unlike the Avatar ending – there is no happy ending.

I supposed I liked it – but only with one eye closed.