Beyond race

Some folks have recently claimed that James Cameron’s Avatar contains racist themes. This is absurd. If anything, the film is about the need to move beyond the self-centered view that any one group of people is special. Cameron wants us to expand the circle to include non-humans. This enlightened viewpoint is the opposite of racism. The race (within the species) of the human characters is largely irrelevant, made to seem all the more insignificant by the larger inter-species conflict between humans and Na’vi.

I do not see see Avatar as the story of a white messiah saving a primitive tribe. On the contrary, it seems clear to me that one of the main points of the film is that that race—and even species—is not what makes people special.

No comments: