Archive | May 2013

Final Multimodal Profile Essay

The movie Avatar is known and very popular for its vast creativity and imagery. However, most are not able to pick up on the subtle messages. The film Avatar by director James Cameron is a very powerful movie with a message for mankind to treat each other with kindness and unity.

To recap on the movie, Avatar takes place on a planet called Pandora. This planet holds unique and different tribes and types of people that the Western world is not familiar with. One of the native tribes that inhabit Pandora are the Na’vi people. A large governmental research group wants to invade Pandora for its valuable resource called Unobtainium. The head of this research group that wants to go through with this mission is named Parker Selfridge. The head of the military is Colonel Quaritch, who is responsible for executing the mission of getting the valuable resource by any means possible. Jake Sully is a paraplegic who joins this research mission. His initial goal was to join the Na’vi people, blend in, and find ways and soft spots to conquer and gain their resources. In return, he was promised to be given the ability to walk. After becoming one of the Na’vi people, he realizes that what the research group is doing, and their purpose, is wrong and unfair to the tribe. Throughout the movie, there is a continuous war between the large army and the Na’vi people over the valuable resource.

The main theme that can be seen within this movie is that a smaller country, corporation or third world country is in conflict with a large country, corporation or superpower. The superpower countries use their power, technology, and modern tools to oppress, suppress, divide and conquer the smaller country, or mostly known as the third world country.

First, the world of Pandora and the Na’vi people within it can be compared to the third world countries we can see today. One thing that can distinguish a third world country is their culture and tradition, native tongue, religion and wanted resources that a superpower would want to have access to.

The culture and tradition of the Na’vi people can be shown through their attire and behavior and mannerisms. This photo shows the clan leader of the Na’vi people with his extravagant attire. Director James Cameron purposefully created the avatar to appear this way to represent the third world culture traditions. In realistic society, a third world tribal leader can usually be seen with extravagant attire and headdress, like the clan leader of the Na’vi.

Also, throughout the movie of Avatar,  the native tongue of the Na’vi is used, to differentiate them from the Western,  world, culture and language.  In today’s society, there are a variety of languages that are not common in the the superpower countries (English,etc). Some languages are Creole, Ewe, Yoruba, etc. Amongst the Na’vi people, the statement “Oel Ngati Kameie” means “I See You”. In the Western World, we know the statement as a physical statement, such as, “I see you over there”, “I see you standing”, I see you eating”, etc. However, with the Na’vi people, the statement “I see you” goes beyond the visual.  It is an emotional connection between two people or between a person and nature, etc. They are saying that they understand you or feel what you are saying. It can also be used as a spiritual connection as well. This leads to the religious aspect of the movie, compared to religions found in mostly the third world countries, rather than the Western world.

Within the movie, the main goddess that the Na’vi people worshipped was named Eywa. Eywa’s spirit was mostly found around their home tree. The Na’vi people surrounded the tree, holding hands, and chanting to pray to their goddess. There can be many different religions found within the smaller countries.

Lastly, and mostly importantly, within the movie Avatar, as well as the third world countries is the wanted resources. In the movie, a resource that was wanted by the large research corporation was a metal called Unobtainium. Within the word, “Unobtainium”, is the word “obtain” and “un”, meaning that the superpower is not able to obtain a precious resource that is wanted for gain and profit. The resource is found under the Eywa home tree of the Na’vi people. The metal costs about $20 million dollars for about 2 pounds of it. In comparison to our society, there is much war and conflict from a superpower country for a resource (such as oil and land) from the smaller, third world country.

James Cameron is known for being an environmental activist and having political views regarding interactions between people, countries, and nations. His views and beliefs are thoroughly shown throughout his film, Avatar.

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