Some see racist theme in alien adventure 'Avatar'

Discussion in 'In the News...' started by Mchunu, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Mchunu

    Mchunu New Member

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    ***thought this was a really interesting article and though i feel like they are nit-picking with the film and looking for something to argue about, it definitely makes a few valid points in the article.

    http://movies.yahoo.com/news/movies.ap.org/some-see-racist-theme-alien-adventure-avatar-ap
     
  2. Mchunu

    Mchunu New Member

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  3. Harumi

    Harumi New Member

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    Warning: rant from an Avatar fan ahead!

    I do wonder whether these people have actually seen the movie?

    First, Jake doesn't save anyone. He spends the movie being rescued by other people (human and Na'vi alike) and fails at about everything he sets out to do.
    When he does earn military commend at the end of the movie, his poorly conceived assault is a complete failure up until the planet's goddess (Eywa) intervenes. It is eventually her who saves the Na'vi, not Jake.

    Second, if Will Smith, John Cho or Taylor Lautner had been casted instead of Sam for the role of Jake, it would not have required a single change in the dialogue or scenario, nor would it have changed the sense or intent of the movie. It's true of every single human character in the movie.

    The second article makes even more ridiculous points:

    Yes, Jake has the opportunity to go back to his human body, but that's by necessity, not choice. When he is given the opportunity to transfer permanently he jumps on it.

    And where does it says that Na'vi women have no choice in the marriage department? The exchange between Jake and Neytiri was just a cheesy piece of dialogue, not some deep sociological statement.
    As far as it's shown in the movie, Na'vi women have equal status to men: they can be hunters, warriors, clan leader (the Ikran people leader is a woman), spiritual leader, etc. Neytiri doesn't face any real consequence when she choose Jake over Tsu'Tey, etc.
    It's plainly not a society that is oppressive to women or would enforce forced marriage.
    Ridiculous.

    That movie was flawed enough so that it's possible to criticize it without inventing fake controversies.
     
  4. ponytrot

    ponytrot New Member

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    ^ co-sign.

    Political correctness gone mad. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Jennika

    Jennika New Member

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    ditto to everything Harumi said. Yes avatar is a rip off of the Pocahontas/dances with wolves stories, but I don't think there was any racism intended
     
  6. rayoflight

    rayoflight New Member

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    I don't see how it's racist. Just because the lead actor is white? Thats a long shot to racism, these people should look up the definition of racism and then sit though the movie one more time.
     
  7. Empress Merel

    Empress Merel Active Member

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    I don't see how it would be racist anyway.
    Lately I have seen way too many people throw in the term racism way too many times. It's getting annoying.

    It's a movie, and a good one on top of that. So my advice; they should stop bickering.
     
  8. Gnszr

    Gnszr New Member

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    Oh my God... how can this move be racist? these ppl are failing miserable to see the actual point of the movie, that is, respecting everyone's else differences, it's showing the "other" paradox, we, the humans, as a whole, are the others in this movie, we are invading, and yes, it is reminiscent of the european colonization, but from the native point actually, i think this movie its intended to open up some closed minds that still think that our culture its the best it gets, but, yet again, some ppl just never learn
     
  9. Swallowtail

    Swallowtail New Member

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    I have to disagree with this idea that the movie has racist themes, it's very easy in this day and age for people to perceive racism wherever they look simply by wanting to see it. One reason most epic stories involve an outsider saving a community during times of change (which yes can sound very much in support of colonialism and so on, though this was a movie that was more like Fern Gully/Pocahontas with CGI) is because in a group of people - especially a small insular group, it's very difficult for anyone to think outside that community reality. (probably spoilers for the two people in the world who haven't seen this movie) You get set in your ways, because your society has raised you to think you can't do something, can only do something else, that some things are inappropriate for who you are in that society; the outsider isn't bound by these rules that you're raised with; he doesn't believe that taming the creature is an incredibly mythical/legendary thing that as they seem to feel is something that isn't their act to decide, but he decides that he will act and get it. They're too shocked by the destruction of something completely integrated into their society (the tree) to be able to think of anything beyond the immediate.

    The story as a whole, is a very typical story of someone who is a little messed up either physically or in some other way, who goes out of their normal boundaries of their reality/life and through either willing change or unwilling change around them, finds themselves changed inside as well and for the better. That's what these stories are about, learning to allow yourself to change in some way and to try to make that for the better.
     
  10. Fontenrose

    Fontenrose New Member

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    The real problem is a failure of imagination. The Na'vi are not very alien. They are pretty blue people, who have a Masai/Mohawk/noble savage vibe.

    Their physique is suited to the fashion runway, as they look like humans with an elongated physique and an abnormally small rib cage.
     
  11. IAmLordZen

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    I agree with the movie being a Pocahontas rip-off but calling it "racist" is actually a BIG exaggeration. The people who call it racist should stop and ponder on what the word racism really means.
     
  12. Spiral1532

    Spiral1532 New Member

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    Believe it or not, I STILL haven't seen this movie.
    It just seems like it'll turn out to be nothing more than nonsense. I don't feel inspired to go see it.
    Or maybe I should? :unsure:
     
  13. Harumi

    Harumi New Member

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    ^if you intend at all to see it, I advise you to do it on a big screen, because it's the only way to see it. It's a visual experience. The story, you'll hate or love (it's written like a Disney movie minus the songs), and you may be bored by the characters but the visual cannot disappoint. Imo.
    Fully agreed. It's the Girl Who Cried Wolf symptom.
    All it's doing is weakening the meaning and desensitizing people to the gravity of the issue.
     
  14. JeanAvril

    JeanAvril Active Member

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    Seriously? This movie isn't and never will be that serious. These people have way too much time on their hands.
     
    #14 JeanAvril, Jan 12, 2010
    Last edited by moderator Myrthe: Jan 12, 2010
  15. Coxxy

    Coxxy New Member

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    I wouldn't say it was a Pocohontas rip-off. Sure a few things were similar, but to say they ripped it from Pocahontas is a bit of an exaggeration lol.

    Anyways, any movie that has colonization in it is going to be called racist, especially if the main character is white. Honestly, even if the they had casted a black character as the main lead, there would be complaints that the movie depicts all black people as Tribal voodoo savages and the Black lead character turning native later on would even strengthen that point. I have to question the self esteem of these people who shout "RACISM!" at every little thing...:huh:
     
  16. lunabella

    lunabella Active Member

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    some people see a racist theme in everything. mostly racists.
     
  17. saann

    saann I don't know

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    to be honest I don't think it was racist but I do see a valid point in the article - it's always about the 'white saviour' who comes to the resque in hollywood

    I know that in this movie he did not on his own save the Na'vis but he was still a big part of the resque (remember he came up with the idea to ask that thing for help, u know when all the animals came to help) and in the end I did get the impression that he and Neytiri were sort of the new king and queen (if they even had any at pandora).. and it did bother me that the Navis were built like humans only bigger and with a tail (lack of creativity I guess) they were also dressed and accessorized in a way which lot of native tribes are

    however I don't see that as a weakness and of it being racist since Jake was necessary for this plot, his point of view is what kind of dictates our point of view.. as he was introduced to Pandora so were we, as he fought for pandora so did we (in a way)



    this movie does suffer from a lot of weaknesses; cheesy badly written script, weak one-dimentional characters (the villains), at times boring and too long, predictable & unoriginal plot and simply just being Pocahontas in space.. it having a possibility of being racist is not one of them
     
  18. Harumi

    Harumi New Member

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    You are right but scenes were cut that explained how that happened. **Spoilers** In the screenplay, Neytiri looses her position as future spiritual leader when she gives up Tsu'Tey (future clan leader), because these two positions are linked. But while Tsu'Tey lays dying (after his fall) he makes Jake his successor, thus restoring Neyriti initial status and elevating Jake's to clan leader. (personally I disaprove of that plot developement, for dramatic purpose: it's too much, too soon).
    I don't think that has anything to do with lack of creativity.
    It would just have been impossible to produce a movie with that premise (a love story) and that kind of budget with anything but humanoids aliens.
    It had to be creatures close enough to us so that the public would find them pretty to look at (or at least understand why Jake would be attracted to Neyriti and vice-versa) and would have no problem understanding their facial expressions and body language (hence cultural conventions like a smile still meaning 'happy' millions light-years from hearth).
    That movie would not have made a profit with the Na'vi looking like that:

    [​IMG]
    ezzal.com
    Exactly. I personally loved everything about the movie but I can see how all the criticism you are making is founded and arguable. So why make some s*** up?
     
  19. retailqueen

    retailqueen Active Member

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    I don't know if it's racist but how many * great Europeans/Westerners save the day* movies can one make? like this is really supposed to be such an innovative film why be so lazy yet again with the script.

    I found the movie extremely overrated, even more than the titanic.
     
  20. saann

    saann I don't know

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    haha I do understand that a love story would be hard to grasp for an audience but I still do think that they could have made them a bit more different.

    But I do have to say that it was all of the similarities to native tribes was what bothered me the most, while not finding it racist and I do believe that those finding it racist mainly got that feeling from physical stuff like that, the main protagonist being white etc.
     

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