Avatar

AVATAR IS THE MOST PROFOUND ANTI-IMPERIAL FILM OF THE YEAR
Obsoletorium is necessary for the human race to survive, filmviewers of Avatar are told, so an expedition goes to the planet Pandora in 2154 to get the substance. Humanoidlike creatures, the Na’vi, inhabit the area where the substance can be mined, but the expedition is heavily militarized. To try diplomacy, some humans are put into a machine to resemble the Na’vi, thereby producing a new species—the avatar. The plan is to dispatch humans transformed as avatars to the planet surface to gain the confidence of the Na’vi. When diplomacy fails, which leaders of the expedition believe will be futile, military action is contemplated. Paraplegic Jake Scully (played by Sam Worthington) is recruited for the diplomatic mission; if successful, he will receive back his two legs in an expensive operation that he cannot afford on his own. The anthropological expert on the Na’vi, Grace (played by Sigourney Weaver), also becomes an avatar to direct the effort to contact the Na’vi. During the landing, Jake is separated from the rest, is saved Pocahantas-style by Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana), the two fall in love, and Jake sides with the Na’vi. But Colonel Miles Quaritch (played by Stephen Lang) is eager to use military force, for which he receives approval when diplomacy apparently is not working. The main puzzle is how the Nav’vi bow-and-arrow defense could possibly hold back the massive military technology under the Colonel’s command. As the plot unfolds, what becomes clear is the superiority of peace over brute force for which the film, directed by James Cameron, has been nominated for an award as best film on peace of 2009. In addition, the mistreatment of the indigenous Na’vi prompts the Political Film Society to nominate Avatar as best film on human rights. MH