ByPeter Matthews, writer at
Writer, Reader, Film watcher
Peter Matthews

Avatar was one of the most successful movies of all time, and James Cameron has another two movies planned in which we will reportedly see much more of the lavish, tropical world of Pandora, where the Na'vi live.

One aspect James Cameron will likely bring into focus in the next Avatar movie is the underwater world of Pandora - Cameron himself recently because one of the first men to explore the Marianna Trench, an enormous crack on the ocean floor, and one of the deepest places on earth.

Avatar - and the upcoming [Avatar 2](movie:38662) & 3 - have been praised for bringing a new environmental awareness to Hollywood. Avatar 2 is expected to return to the theme of mankind's destruction of natural habitats. The Resources Development Administration (RDA) wanted to mine Pandora for a valuable mineral, but, as the atmosphere was poisonous to humans, they had to use Na'vi "Avatar"s in order to do so.

The lush world of Pandora in Avatar
The lush world of Pandora in Avatar

Although they were repelled in the first film, it is more than likely that Avatar 2 will see them come back.

However, not everyone was inspired by the plot of Avatar. Is it possible that, rather than being a tale about the possibility of a deep connection with nature, Avatar was in fact, at a deeper level, a story of racism and colonialism?

That's what the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, thinks, anyway. In an article in The New Statesman, he claims that rather than being authentic people, with their own virtues and flaws, the Na'vi people of Pandora are a fantasy of a tribal society living in an ideal state of nature, untouched by the corrupting modern world.

He even claims that Jake relationship with Neytiri is not what it seems, and that Avatar contains:

brutal racist motifs: a paraplegic outcast from earth is good enough to get the hand of a beautiful local princess, and to help the natives win the decisive battle. The film teaches us that the only choice the aborigines have is to be saved by the human beings or to be destroyed by them. In other words, they can choose either to be the victim of imperialist reality, or to play their allotted role in the white man's fantasy.

In other words, by having a human join the Na'vi and win the battle on their behalf, James Cameron was not creating a story of ecological harmony, but one where the aboriginal Na'vi people could only be ideal perfect creatures, or victims - but never truly independent people.

But what do you think? Was Avatar secretly a racist film, or is Zizek talking rubbish? What are you looking forward to in Avatar 2? Write in with your thoughts below the line!


Was Avatar secretly a racist movie?

Source: TheNewStatesman


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