Avatar – A tale of many narratives

I have just finished watching Avatar and I must say this film was very touching. I feel like I have experienced what it must have felt like for the native Africans during the European Encounter of Africa in the Colonial 16th Century. The war scenes were extremely powerful. The theme of technology vs nature was also very touching. I recommend this film not just for this narrative interpretation but also for the artistic nature of the cinematography.

Avatar

Avatar

I will always hold a place in my heart for this film. I understand that depending on the audience the interpretation of the cultural significance of the tribe of aliens can change; but I very much viewed this alien tribe as an native African tribe. The female protagonists affinity with nature and her loyal mentoring relationship with the lead male ‘student’ opens up thought processes of similar relationships taking place between European explorers and native African females similar to the film ‘Dances with Wolves‘ with the relationship between the native American Indian and European American settler.

Avatar

Avatar

I look forward to watching more films like this in the future with a strong cultural narrative. A cultural studies lecturer once told me that when ever I watch a sci-fi alien invasion movie that I can get an understanding of what it was like for the native Africans being invaded by the Europeans with there great big ships. The spaceship can be viewed as a metaphor for the slave ships and the powerful weapons used in Avatar against the bows and arrows correlate with the type of war fair which may have taken place between the European white male with his gun and the African tribes with there bow and arrows.

Zulu Warrior's protect their land against the Imperial British

Zulu Warrior’s protect their land against the Imperial British

It’s very sad that history does not document what it felt like to be invaded by Europeans in Africa because during the invasions African city’s and empires were destroyed beyond recognition. Many artifacts were stolen by Europeans, placed into European museums, given to royal families who used the gold & diamonds to decorate their crowns and castles. By understanding European fear of the unknown or aliens; audiences and researchers can begin to understand what it may have felt like to be under attack by the Europeans who invented the gun.

Avatar tell the invasion story from the side of the oppressed. People of native nations battled with weapons like spears and bow & arrows similar to the alien tribe. It was the native Africans who were knowledgeable in art, astronomy, horticulture and science similar to the alien tribe. Although critics argue that the film is ‘racist’  because the white man saves the day I appreciate the narrative for highlighting the destructive nature of war.

Avatar

Behind the scenes of Avatar

Technology can be a tool for good but it is so often developed from warfare and corruption. Avatar reminds audiences of the strength of nature & culture over the power of war & technology. For this reason I salute this film, cast, directors and everyone else who helped to produce this movie.

How did you interpret the narrative of Avatar. Please feel free to leave your interpretation in the comments box below.

Thank you.

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  1. I loved this movie, and when I saw it for the first time in 3-D in the theater I was stunned. It wasn’t just powerful in terms of message and story, the score and the visual gave me chills. After watching the movie, I became fully engrossed in nature and my husband and I worked toward taking better care of our garden and getting outdoors to see what we have around us that often goes overlooked.

    • Thank you for your reply. I like how you have described how the film has impacted your vision of the world and how you choose to live your life. Thank you for inspiring others with your positive story.

    • Mark Williams
    • April 1st, 2012

    I absolutely agree with your blog Red. (white) people who have watched this film and are versed in plays liken it to Romeo & Juliet but for me the story goes deeper and carries with it much more significance. I don’t know what inspired Cameron to write this movie but to me, it speaks of Africa, and the pillage thereof.
    In terms of black history, slavery and the dessimation of Africa that we still bear witness to today, what makes this film even more significant is that it was not written by a black man, in which case it is the human story which carries it and this is true of every great film in existence.
    Africa is as important today as it it was hundreds of years ago and should not be seen as the butt of jokes for many modern comedians!

    • Thank you. I understand your point of view. I love looking at the historical links which connect things to Africa. Thank you for your support. I hope others will enjoy your feedback too.

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