December 27, 2022

Filed under: News — adamsdoyle @ 2:40 pm

I highly recommend seeing Avatar: Way of Water while it’s in theaters and I’ll explain why. There won’t be any spoilers.

The reason I feel compelled to endorse a film that’s already a blockbuster is because James Cameron and his team address themes that parallel my own mission as an artist.

The movie will of course be available in the future on the small screen. You can see the Grand Canyon on your phone if you want to, but nothing of the impact will come through. By committing to complete immersion into the film the true force of what it has to offer can be experienced.

Yes the story is science fiction. Yes the main characters are aliens. But the essence of the narrative is a truth that we are all in need of processing.

The Avatar films show that who we are is defined by our intentions and our actions, not by our race or even by our species. Our society still need to be reminded of this.

By identifying with the protagonists we experience the indigenous perspective. Time and again over thousands of years local people have been decimated by colonists. Knowing about these tragedies is not the same thing as internalizing them. We close off when we’re being lectured at. The story is the ideal form to access real empathy.

I can speak to the integrity of James Cameron not because he’s a very successful filmmaker, but because he has used his money to fund space and sea exploration. In 2012 he piloted a submersible into the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. He was the first person ever to make this descent. The reverence for nature and wildlife comes from a sincere place.

Pandora is an exceptionally beautiful made-up world. By experiencing the fictional planet we are reminded of how amazing our own Earth actually is. Knowing we have to take care of it is not the same thing as feeling the urgency to do so. Inspiration is a powerful fuel for intention.

The conflict of the Avatar films is colonization. We who have benefited from centuries of oppression harbor deep guilt. I believe with conviction that by having our hearts opened we can process the hurt. This is the true value of the film. This does not absolve nations of reparations nor efforts to help indigenous cultures rebuild. This is for us as individuals to acknowledge our need for catharsis.

By letting the tears fall we can begin to release our stored up collective ancestral trauma. We can then do the work that needs to be done.

This is our way forward.

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