by Mike Adams
the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews
December 26, 2009
If you see just one film this holiday season (or even this year), make it
James Cameron's "Avatar."
It's a powerful, inspiring film that demonstrates
movie-making at its best, and it delivers a crucial message for our time:
That all living beings are connected and that those who seek to exploit
nature rather than respect it will only destroy themselves.
Much of the press about "Avatar" has focused on
the special effects, the motion capture and the 3-D presentation. These are
modern filmmaking marvels, for certain, but the film succeeds for a far more
important reason: Its story - and its message.
Others have reviewed the film in a more critical
light; notably Alex Jones
who sees it as more of a propaganda piece.
But I see the film differently, and I think it
carries a strong, positive message.
With "Avatar", Cameron has delivered a fast-paced fantasy adventure that
weaves together a stream of powerful themes that are so important to our
modern world that they extend far beyond the world of fictional film: Issues
like corporations destroying nature for profit, the lack of respect for
living creatures, and the failed policies of "military diplomacy" that the
USA continues to pursue.
The themes in "Avatar" reflect the greatest
challenges of our modern world, and the message of "Avatar" is both deeply
moving and highly relevant to the future of human civilization.
Not many who view "Avatar" will understand all this, of course.
To the younger
crowd, "Avatar" is simply a cool action-adventure film with a compelling love
story that makes it a great date flick. But to those who've been around on
this planet a little longer, the story of "Avatar" is a far important story of
good versus evil, war versus peace, destruction versus healing and
isolationism versus interconnectedness.
This depth of sensitivity to life is
rare to find in any film these days, much less a blockbuster feature film,
but that's what makes "Avatar" so truly remarkable:
It speaks to viewers at
many different levels, intertwining the core themes of human mythology in an
extremely tight, fast-paced screenplay that doesn't let a second go to
That's classic James Cameron, of course: Cutting scenes, dialog and seconds
out of the film until it becomes a polished, tightly-presented story that
transports you into the on-screen world and doesn't let go of you until the
credits roll. It's an emotional story, too.
Much like Titanic, "Avatar"
convincingly pulls you into the minds and hearts of the key characters,
delivering an authentic emotional connection with the on-screen characters
even though their skin is blue.
The overriding theme of "Avatar" is one of western Colonialism, where western
nations use their military might to invade lesser developed countries,
terrorize their people and pillage their lands for valuable natural
And yet these acts of military imperialism are always justified by the
imperialists. As the top military commander says in the film in response to
the natives resisting their lands being pillages,
"We'll fight terror with
It remains the standard operating procedure of
any military imperialist
Invade whatever country you wish, and if the locals fight back,
condemn them as terrorists and use that as an excuse to turn up the heat
with even more bombs and weapons.
Gaia and the interconnectedness of nature
One of the more interesting elements in "Avatar" is the neural connection
fibers that each living creature is born with on the planet.
humanoids and even the trees have these neural connection fibers, allowing
all living creatures to "plug in" to each other's neural networks. Once
connected, they can feel each other's emotions and thoughts. They are, in
essence, operating as one single being with expanded sensory awareness.
This plot element is largely thought of as fiction, but in reality, it is
merely a representation of something that's very real in our world: The
interconnectedness of all living systems through methods that science hasn't
yet identified. Although science won't admit it, there does exist some
medium of communication between living things right here on planet Earth.
Plants, for example, really do talk to each other through their roots and
other sensory systems. The study of this field of science is called Plant
Neurobiology, and the world's top research facility is the International
Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology in Italy.
There, it has long been established that
plants are, in fact, intelligent.
Recent research actually demonstrates that plants communicate over their own
"chat networks" where important information is exchanged about what's
their immediate environment.
The world depicted in "Avatar" also demonstrates the healing power of Mother
Nature as the key character Jack Sully has his consciousness transferred
from his broken human body to his much stronger alien body through the help
of a healing tree (into which all the natives are neurologically plugged in,
The concept of Gaia is also unleashed in the film, although it's never
referred to as Gaia.
At one point in the film when all hope seems lost for
the natives, Jack Sully prays to Gaia to help save them, at which point the
female character Na'vi says,
"[Mother Nature] doesn't take sides. She only
maintains the balance of life."
This demonstrates a much deeper
understanding of the role of nature than most modern humans grasp.
"Avatar" and the Amazon Rainforest
Much of what takes place in "Avatar" could be described as a very accurate
reflection of the struggle between petroleum companies and the indigenous
populations of the Amazon rainforest.
As someone who lives in Ecuador full time, I am particularly aware of some
of the local details of this struggle.
It is essentially the same setup as "Avatar":
Native people live in harmony with the environment, respecting the
life around them, and then a western corporation shows up and destroys their
ecosystem, poisons the people and exploits the land in order to mine it for
valuable natural resources. The people fight back and they're met with
This reflects the very modern story of the indigenous Ecuadorian Indians
versus Chevron and its oil drilling agenda.
Read more about this conflict between Chevron and the people of
What's satisfying about "Avatar", of course, is that the natives fight back.
Rather than allowing their lands to be destroyed by corporate greed, they
fight the imperialists with intelligence and a network of willing animals
operating via land and air - animals who ultimately allow the natives to
defend themselves against the invaders.
Here's where "Avatar" really becomes fiction, because in the real world,
spears usually aren't victorious over bullets. And hoards of large
bullet-proof animals don't stampede to your rescue. But that's Hollywood,
and it makes for a great story even if it's not an accurate reflection of
what happens in our world.
There's a level of violence in "Avatar", but it's not gratuitous, bloody
violence. It's not gore, and the military action violence that takes place
in the story always moves the story forward.
James Cameron never uses
violence solely for the sake of violence - he uses it in the film as a
crucial part of the story.
Technology and emotions
The reason "Avatar" works is because the technology has advanced enough for CG
(computer graphics) to accurately capture and render the subtleties of
As human beings, we are hard-wired to read and interpret
subtle facial expressions as emotional content, and without the subtleties,
computer-animated characters look stale and plastic.
But thanks to the remarkable technology that Cameron has applied to "Avatar",
facial expressions are convincingly carried through the computer-rendered
alien characters (no doubt with a fair bit of 3D modeling work to help
augment the motion capture). The result is a level of human authenticity (in
alien-looking characters) that has never been achieved before... in any
Remember, though, that technology alone never makes a great film. It's the
story that really makes it work.
Technology just makes the story convincing.
If you love nature, and you love to see beautiful alien worlds depicted in
breathtaking scenery, go see "Avatar".
If you love action films, or a touching
romance, or science fiction, go see "Avatar". In my opinion, it is easily the
best film of the year, and perhaps even the best film of James Cameron's
It also delivers a message that feels right at home to NaturalNews readers:
The love of nature, the interconnectedness between all living things, and
the victory of good over military might. "Avatar" is much more than an action
flick. It's much more than a love story, too. In my view, it's an urgent
message for our modern world where many of the atrocities committed by the
human invaders in "Avatar" are being carried out right now against our own
When it comes to planet Earth, after all, humans are the imperialists.
have destroyed much of the natural habitat on our planet; we've poisoned the
rivers and oceans; we've polluted the sky and burned up much of the planet's
natural resources. In our quest for more energy, more consumption and more
profit, we are stupidly destroying our own planet... and destroying our own
future in the process.
We are, in effect, both the invaders and the natives on this planet, and
through our misguided collective consumption, we are destroying our own
land, our own trees and our own home. And because life is so delicately
interconnected, in destroying our own planet, we are only destroying
This is one of the many messages that "Avatar" delivers.
Alex Jones Reviews "Avatar"
December 24, 2009