Screen International noted in its December 18 issue the banal dialogue and storyline, reminding readers that the plot involves an effort in the year 2154 by humans to mine a rare mineral on far-off planet Pandora in order to save the world from death by global warming. (Natch.) I am grateful to Screen International for this explanation because, despite twice viewing the film in comfortable and well-projected circumstances, I had no idea what the story was about. That is the sign of a mediocre screenplay. I do know that I watched lots of brave Marines being slaughtered in the stereotypical, liberal cant that tells young audiences that America is the Great Satan.
Some will feel my interpretation of this film borders on the paranoid, but as I was committing these thoughts to paper I received a telephone call from a neighbor who related a significant anecdote. He told me that a couple of his acquaintance — educated young professionals — had just returned from a visit to the cinema to see Avatar and that the film had upset them so much that they had fallen to the floor to pray. I asked him why and he said they felt they had just seen the work of the Devil and that the message of hatred of America is so sinister that they felt they had to say a prayer for the health and long life of the United States. My neighbor also reported that he had been following the demographics of Avatar and that it is apparent that cinemagoers from emerging countries in the remotest corners of the earth are flocking to this motion picture.
Is it possible that the spike in terror attacks and attempted ones — the Danish cartoonist, the CIA assassinations in Afghanistan, the Detroit bomber — is at least partially a result of a passion inspired by the worldwide Avatar mania? I would venture to say that the message of the film is so overwhelming — that America can and should be quashed for good — that it cannot but powerfully influence impressionable minds, most particularly in the Muslim and third world. At the second screening I attended there was applause near the end of the film and, from snippets of conversation I clocked on the way out of the cinema, I heard comments about the way white Americans treated the Native Americans, slaves, Vietnamese, and Iraqis. It is rare to see observant followers of Islam at concerts, opera, musicals, theater, or movies (I do not mean this in a disparaging way — it is not de rigeur, as my veiled Pakistani neighbor tells me, to attend such events when I invited her to My Fair Lady), so I did register that there were groups of young Muslims (I know because the females wore head coverings) who seemed to be having an enormously joyous time at Avatar.
This motion picture is a disturbing epic that in my view instills in audiences a deep hatred of America. As I finish this piece the United Kingdom has raised its terror alert level. Is Jim Cameron the reason? How long is a piece of string? My view? His childish polemic against the U.S. is dangerous and I truly believe the rise in worldwide incidents may be in direct correlation with the wide proliferation of this film. It will be loved by many but I still think it is pure evil.