Great White Father has finally incorporated the most elusive power indigenous peoples had left: sympathy for the exploitation of the oppressed. He has learned that, by representing compassion for people who live in balance with their planet, and for that planet, itself, he can rake in billions of dollars from viewers of his film. And he doesn't need to spend a dime of those profits to benefit indigenous peoples or the environment. It is the Ultimate Exploitation and psychic rape of all our ancestors and of Earth.
I've heard people say they want to live on Pandora. Guess what? We already do. Every feature of every "living" thing on that planet exists right now, on Earth, but in its authentic and viable (not fantastic and biologically impossible) configuration. We can see them on nature programs. We can see them in our yards, in our trees, in our ponds in our seas. They are here, right now. Real hammer headed animals are in danger of extinction today. They need our love and adoration, not a cartoon! Cameron rips off the interesting features of real and threatened beings right here. Nothing in this film is original.
The network of energy on Earth is well documented. In science, it is called Systems Theory: nothing exists without interdependence on everything else. The Gaia Principle goes so far as to posit that Earth is actually a living organism: self organizing, conscious, capable of reproduction, capable of death.
We don't need a fairy tale. We need to see what is around us.
The exploitation of the indigenous is so obvious to anybody who will just look. Remember apartheid in South Africa? Do you think that may have had anything to do with the white minority needing a cheap labor force to mine gold and diamonds there?
Ok, so the film lets us know that indigenous peoples have wisdom, intuit their natural surroundings and revere the sanctity of natural life. And the viewer should sympathize.
The viewer is blatantly told there is nothing we can do to protect and defend such peoples here, nor the planet here. Earth appears not to have a deity who will respond to prayers for help, rally the beasts and save us from ourselves. Therefore, it is useless to try. We are only humans. We cannot make a difference without divine intervention.
The second, most important, message of the film? We must use tactics of violence to force our will on others -- "tree-huggers" or not. There is no option.
We have a planet where trees can heal living beings, where beings can speak to divinity through plants and speak to other beings through a literal connection to them. Why, then, cannot that deity restore balance to her planet without explosions, blood shed, fire, agony, terror? Because we cannot let the feminine goddess principle have any real power?
Another toxic message of this film is that native peoples cannot protect, defend, nurture themselves without the interference of the Great White Father. Who organizes the indigenous population: one of their noble lineage of leaders, holy people, hunters? No. They needed a U.S. Marine to get them together, organize the charge and save them! They couldn't possibly do it without him, right?
The fact is this: violence will never heal our planet. Revolution is simply a turning of the wheel of suffering: those on the bottom revolve to the top, using the same tactics of domination, threat, xenophobia, cultural entitlement, cruelty as the former oppressors. This old and tired paradigm no longer works.
The goddess of the planet could easily have sent weather to make flight impossible. She could have made electromagnetic fields so intense that machines couldn't fly. She could have allowed a fungus or other microbe to eat the seals of the air masks the humans must wear. She could have corroded circuitry with fog. There are a million things she could have done to end this exploitation. Instead, she sent the animals to war with the human invaders? As air ships explode, flora, fauna and native peoples die, the air fills with smoke, fuel pours onto ground and into water, THIS is how a planetary goddess would "restore balance?"
We don't need any more magical thinking about the crisis of Earth. We don't need any more messages about how powerless we are to change anything. We don't need Great White Father to rescue us. We need hope. We need to be challenged to participate in our own lives, right NOW, to restore balance.
A planetary goddess, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus nor anybody else will save us from ourselves. Only WE can do that.
I would suggest we become more like the natives were before contact with the humans, not make the natives more like us.
This was the most dis-empowering piece of cinematic propaganda I've seen since "Birth of a Nation."
Let us get back to Earth. And get to work. Now.