While evident that many who saw the film Avatar were more than satisfied with it visually, I found it interesting that I heard little about the plot or characters. After all, as a writer, these elements, to me, are what make or break the outcome.
After going to see the critically acclaimed film, I was left with a blatant feeling of injustice regarding the film’s race issues. The problem I had with the film is the concept of a white male entering into a world of ethnic people (in this case, aliens), with the sole intent of using them for his own personal gain. Not only has this all too familiar story been used again and again, but also, the outcome is always the same. While I do not believe that the film endorses racism, I do believe that certain racial ideologies play a major role in the film.
Whilst some may argue against that point, by simply breaking down the story, it is simple to make the connections. Regardless of if it was intentional or not, there are some obvious racial undertones in Avatar, and they should not be ignored no matter how impressive the graphics are.
In the specific clip I have chosen to analyze, Jake, the human who joins the Na’vi to fight against his own kind, has returned to Pandora after being labeled a traitor and losing the trust of the Na’vi. To gain it back, he immediately tames a Toruk, a red dragon who the natives are very fearful of. The dragon had never been tamed by anyone from the Na’vi clan. The ability and heroism just spewing from Jake makes it seem as though he is the only one with the answers that the Na’vi need to save Pandora. The scene transitions to the clan praying to the Hometree, despite their knowledge of the tree having never “taken sides”.
In the midst of all of this, Jake comes flying down on the red dragon, the sun beaming behind him, illuminating his path. Then comes the very demeaning imagery of Jake dismounting the dragon in front of the Na’vi, while they.