I’m watching Avatar. I know, I’m probably the only one in the world who hasn’t seen it yet. It’s a pretty sweet movie, but it’s really hard to miss the socio-political commentary. Right off the bat, the main character is extremely daft — is that how the rest of the world sees Americans? You’d have to be pretty daft yourself to miss the allusions to American conquest of the “New World” (and, uh… the Middle East). The Americans are at it again in the movie, but this time we’re after “unobtainium,” which is selling for 20 million dollars per kilo!
The Navi people of Pandora obviously remind us of the Native Americans, but they also bear semblance to the Maasai people in East Africa. I think it’s the red colors they wear, I wonder if it played any role in the design of the Navi people. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Kenyan culture was used in a blockbuster movie!
Anyways, I’m glad I finally watched it. The graphics were stunning and I was honestly moved several times by cheesy dialog (maybe it’s because I sat and watched it allllll by my lonesome after a long day at work?). I’m also glad it won all those awards, if only so mainstream America could forget about oil, diamonds, coffee, coltan, cocoa, flowers, and “terrorists” for at least two and a half hours and realize the implications of hundreds of years of relentless conquest…
Update (June 29, 2010): A buddy at work told me about this image that was circulating the Internet: