Saturday, April 24, 2010

Avatar, Vietnam, and Eden

Finally got to see the film, Avatar. Although we went to the cheap theater with $1.50 tickets and crying babies, we enjoyed the movie sans 3-D projection and surround sound. The film was a metaphor for the classic movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. There was the good and the beautiful, the soft and the tender. There was the bad and the corrupt, the greed and the disrespect. There was the ugly, the killing and the wanton destruction. The movie was an onion with many layers to peel, to cry over, to examine in the light.

But some things irk me about the movie. I hated the Ugly American attitude shown by the short guy who seemed to be in charge of the program. I hated the attitude of conquering a region and robbing it of its resources with no regard for the consequences of the indigenous people. This seems to be a recurring attitude of many Western groups: The Spaniards in South America, the whites in our own country, the whites in the Hawaiian islands. Does traveling away from the homelands result in the reckless attitude to the lands and people from other shores? Ugly, ugly, ugly.

I hated the "take no survivors" attitude of the military commander. Things were done by brute force...kill, wreck damage, at any cost. There was no time for peaceful negotiation. Did we not learn anything from history when we try to force our way into other countries...? Try Korea, try Vietnam. Many American lives lost. Lack of support from the people in the country and in our country erode the basis for action. Are we reenacting historical and military mistakes from the past in the Middle East today?

I hated the destruction of a society which was living in Eden. Harmonious existence with the environment seemed idyllic. But then the Seekers had to take what was forbidden treasures. Adam and Eve in the garden were not satisfied with their lives, they had to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. The commandment, Honor Thy Father, was not observed. The Americans invaded Pandora try to steal the precious unobtainium (a pun perhaps)to break commandments: Thy shall not steal, they shall not covert your neighbor's property, Thy shall not kill. Have we not learned anything from our history that sin leads to dire consequences?

I said I loved the movie and then I proceed to write three paragraphs about what I hated. I did love the reaffirmation that there are people who are willing to do the right thing despite the odds against them. The hero, the savior, the brave. That was downright applause worthy. Loved that the helicopter pilot was a female. I loved the love story!

The fantastic scenery of Pandora was breathtaking. The colors used and the special effects were great!! I want to go back to see the movie again. Peel more layers of the movie onion and see if I cry again.

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