Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I went to see Avatar with my dad tonight. It was my dad's pick. I thought it was really awful. I will try to articulate my reasoning now:
1. The culture of the blue people was a culmination of stereotypes of lots of oppressed groups of people around the world. They acted like Native Americans act in Pocahantas. I was expecting them to start singing about the colors of the wind. They had braids in their hair, which connected them with black people. Yet they were animal-like, which equates all of these cultures with animals.
2. They were stupid. Yes, I know they call the white boy stupid repeatedly, but he's only stupid when he acts like one of them, kind of like how I would come off as stupid if I pretended to be black. He's stupid because he's pretending to be one of them, which really, the horrible white guy in the movie is right, he can never be one of them.
3. They needed white boy to come in and save them. Their knowledge simply wasn't enough. Not only did they need white boy to lead them, he had sex with the princess all the while knowing that he was betraying them. Way to be a jackass.
4. The message of the movie was really obvious: don't destroy other cultures. But white boy's presence was culture destroying. He was not an observer. He took over.
I spent the whole movie being ashamed of being white and watching white culture make a movie that was so terribly offensive. I don't think this is the way to approach race issues.

On the bright side, there's a blizzard! It looks so Christmasy outside.

3 comments:

MarcAurelius said...

OMG! I think I love you right now. I have not seen it, but my friend and I were talking the other night and neither of us could fathom an understanding of what was so appealing about this movie. Thanks for seeing it...now I know my thoughts were not unfounded.

Martin Powers said...

You're obviously not a fan of sci-fi movies, because the point of the movie is that it looks amazing. The movie is basically James Cameron saying "hey look what I did," and now that the technology is there, people will take more time to prefect the technique.

(i was going to write a long diatribe about why the movie is good, but it's christmas so i'll leave it for another day)

Tasha said...

I am a fan of sci-fi movies. Sometimes. I think there is a difference between appreciate sci-fi movies and appreciating computer graphics. Example: I like Yoda better when Yoda was a muppet because he had personality. Yeah, it looked super good, but I had a hard time concentrating on that when I had so many thematic problems with the movie. Also, it wasn't really my aesthetic of looking good.