Thursday, January 28, 2010
Arrg...Spoilers May Be Below Mateys.
By now you have surely heard at least a little bit about the claims that the movie Avatar is racist (you can read a little bit about that here).
One claim is that it is an allegory for colonialism and therefore has some incorporates some race issues. I have no problems with this claim, I don't really even see it as a racially based criticism. It is more just an observation or social commentary on our past.
The other major claim is that is that it is a story where "the colored savages must be saved by a white savior." This argument just annoys me. Sure the main character happened to be white and he helped save the colored people but never once did I think that was the point. It was more about accepting people and cultures that are different than yours. Would it really be that much different if the main character was black? Not to me. The whole story is about coming to appreciate something that is different than yourself. If the blue aliens were instead white humans who seemed just like us humans - where would be the "leap of faith" required to connect with and care about their civilization? There would be none, it would then just be a war movie. It is the overcoming differences that creates the power of the story - it doesn't really matter who is white, who is black, who is blue - but somebody has to be different in SOME way or it doesn't work...and movies are a visual medium, skin tone is one quick and easy way to distinguish different peoples.
When this argument is used, they never point out that this basically makes us (as humans in general but more specifically caucasians) the "White Devil" who does nothing but destroys and steals. Isn't that racist too?*
Seriously people, just enjoy the movie. I've seen it a couple times. I don't think it is the greatest movie ever like some people. I thought it was OK. It is pretty and has good effects. Personally, I thought the story was a little generic...not necessarily bad but not great or innovative. I found several things that annoyed me more than the whole racist angle (but of course that is coming from a White Devil point of view) - the biggest of which was that they were mining for "Unobtanium." Really? It's almost unpossible to come up with a worse name. Might as well be looking for Magic Fairy Dust or Stupidium.
*Wait, I guess the Latina girl, and the Indian looking guy (pretty much the only dark skinned humans) did join the fight for the blue team...maybe it is racist!