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Discussion Forums » General Discussion
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the avatar effect
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12 Jan 2010, 10:01
& skull.
Post Count: 1701
Movie goers are experiencing feelings of depression and in some cases even suicidal tendencies after seeing "Avatar."

Fans are upset at not being able to visit Pandora, the make believe planet that is nirvana for the Na'vi, the blue native humanoids that habitat Pandora.

Forums on the internet have been swamped with posts by fans not being able to cope after seeing the movie and experiencing feelings of depression that they can't visit the magical world of Pandora.

Avatar fan site, 'Avatar Forums' contains a thread titled 'Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible', which in itself contains nearly 1,000 posts.

Forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian said: 'I wasn't depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy.

'But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don't have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.'

Forum user 'okoi' writes: 'After I watched "Avatar" at the first time, I truly felt depressed as I "wake" up in this world again.

'So after a few days, I went to cinema and watched it again for the second time to relieve the depression and hopeless feeling. Now I listen to the soundtrack and share my views in this forum. It really helps.'

User Mike wrote on another fan site 'Naviblue' that he considered suicide after watching the film. Mike wrote: 'Ever since I went to see "Avatar" I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it.'

'I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora.'

The incredible visual realism of the film has caused viewers to become particularly attached.

Dr. Stephan Quentzel, psychiatrist and Medical Director from the Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York told CNN: 'Virtual life is not real life and it never will be, but this is the pinnacle of what we can build in a virtual presentation so far.

'It has taken the best of our technology to create this virtual world and real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect.'

Others are saying it's just a movie and are using the forums to cope with the depression and connect with other like minded individuals.

However, perhaps they are just feeling upset about all the racist undertones, with "Avatar" being criticized that it allegedly contains racist themes that of the white hero saving the primitive natives.

Since being praised critically since the film opened and taking over $1 billion in box office receipts, hundreds of blog posts, newspaper articles, tweets and YouTube videos have said things such as the film is "a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people" and that it reinforces "the white Messiah fable."

James Cameron, the film's writer and director however, has said the real theme is about respecting each other's differences.

article here

are you fucking serious? THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE WORLD TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT YOU FUCKING EPIC LOSERS! first it's sparkly vampires, now it's idiot wanting to be blue cat people. dear god i hate humanity so much sometimes. get the fuck out of the gene pool then. we don't need you.
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12 Jan 2010, 12:00
lithium layouts.
Post Count: 836
That. Is. Hilarious. xD

People think waaaay too much into things. It's a movie. A story. With pretty colours. Enjoy it.

I'd hate to see things like the 'Avatar' movie become prohibited because of people with too much time on their hands.
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12 Jan 2010, 13:02
& skull.
Post Count: 1701
it's bad enough people think video games turn people into murderers. soon we won't be able to watch movies because they'll promote suicide.

people like that are why we can't have nice things.
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12 Jan 2010, 22:45
Elena Rosemary
Post Count: 13
I loved Avatar! Thought it was a great film and I want to see it again :) If I could, I'd love to go to Pandora!! But that's never going to happen.. So just keep it to a really great film with a good story & amazing special effects ;)
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14 Jan 2010, 11:39
Jessica [Private]
Post Count: 1751
Rofl oh my god.

"YOU FUCKING EPIC LOSERS!"
This, so hard.
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14 Jan 2010, 21:44
~RedFraggle~
Post Count: 2651
People seriously need to get a life.
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12 Jan 2010, 10:09
~*Pagan*~
Post Count: 378
I read this today and it made me laugh.

I would LOVE to experience Pandora... but then I reckon Hobbiton would be cool as well. When will people seperate fantasy from reality?

I also read that some people are considering it racist cos the "white man saves the savage native race", what bullshit eh?
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12 Jan 2010, 16:38
//movielayouts//
Post Count: 39
I definitely think it's funny too that people are feeling depressed after wathing this movie.

But I don't think it's bullshit that people are calling it racist. I haven't seen the movie myself yet, so I don't have a personal opinion about it, but my mom has. She said she was offended by it (she's half Aboriginal) because it basically told the story about colonization except in a fairytale land. She said that they even referred to the blue people as "Aboriginals" and there were some other names that they were called that were quite offensive. Mmy mom really didn't like this movie because James Cameron took the story of colonization, told it from the perspective of the white man, and took out most of the real horrors that went on for Aboriginal people during that time. If the movie didn't have such a historical base it wouldn't have been so offensive... but it takes real events, then skews the story of colonization and downplays the real suffering that occured to make it a nice hollywood movie. That makes it racist and offensive, according to my mom - who's a very educated and intelligent woman, I might add. ;)

Anyway, this isn't directed entirely to you, I've just heard the same thing from other people, and I thought I'd throw a different viewpoint out there. :)
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12 Jan 2010, 21:24
~*Pagan*~
Post Count: 378
Ar we forgetting the native people WON this round?

And aborigional is a term used to describe native populations, Im sure it wasnt aimed at Australian aborigionals.

people need to sit down, STFU and enjoy entertainment for what it is.
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13 Jan 2010, 03:50
//movielayouts//
Post Count: 39
Like I said, I haven't even seen this movie, this is my mom's opinion. And you're absolutely right, maybe it had absolutely nothing to do with colonization and Aboriginal people (... who are not just in Australia lol). But maybe it wasn't. There's just other ways of looking at it. But trust me, she's definitely not this critical of other movies... I'm sure there's some validity to how my mom feels.

And it's easy for someone to say "sit down and shut the fuck up" when they themselves were not offended by the movie. But when entertainment is offensive, the offended can't enjoy it, and someone should say something about it - even if people tell them to sit down and shut up.

ANYWAY, I hope to see this movie soon, to see what everyone's talking about! :) I think I read it was the second highest grossing movie ever (or something like that), coming right behind Titanic. The special effects must be amazing.
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13 Jan 2010, 00:02
Chris
Post Count: 1938
Yeah, everything's racist. Let's all enjoy the movie, k?
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13 Jan 2010, 09:50
~*Pagan*~
Post Count: 378
EXACTLLY!!!
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14 Jan 2010, 12:54
lithium layouts.
Post Count: 836
I saw Avatar and loved it. =D I remember the 'Aboriginal' reference, but I also remember that it was one of the bad guys who said it. The good guys always referred to the Na'vi as 'the Na'vi'. xD And even then, 'Aboriginal' is not intended to be an offensive term. It is, as Pagan said, just a term to refer to the natives of an area.

I don't know if I was oblivious to the historical undertones, or just blinded by the pretty colours, but I really didn't get any sense of anything too offensive during the movie. I think they didn't downplay the suffering at all. You could see the looks on the Na'vi faces as they lost loved ones, you began to really hate the white invaders for hurting and killing them. There are definitely other ways of looking at it, though, and maybe since I don't have the background, I didn't perceive anything of that nature from the film.
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14 Jan 2010, 15:31
//movielayouts//
Post Count: 39
Oh it's not the term Aboriginal that was offensive, it was just the fact that they were clearly talking about Aboriginal people... and then changed the story of their history to the same story that we all learn in our history textbooks in high school - basically, the dominant narrative. Which leaves out a lot of the real horrors that went on. There's no way to fully explain the history of Aboriginal people and colonization in a forum post, but in a nutshell: children were forcibly taken away from their homes (as well as their communities and cultures), and put in residential schools where death rates were around 50%, sexual and phsyical abuse rates were astronomical (around 75 - 85% of children if I remember correctly) and children were constantly told that their culture was meaningless, uncivilized, sinful and flat-out wrong. Their identities were completely stripped away and replaced with white ideals and values. Meanwhile, governments were taking over Aboriginal land (and land is the central part of Aboriginal life and culture) and segregating Aboriginal communities in isolated communities that were not only separate from the europeans but from themselves as well - divide and conquer.

I won't say more, because I could write a 100 page essay on the topic lol. But those few sentences only skim the surface. And the scars from the experiences during colonization are still alive today.
Since I haven't seen the movie, I can't say myself if it acknowledged the horrible things that went on. But according to my mom, it ignored most of it, and painted the image of Aboriginal people that is consistent with the dominant narrative.

I feel like I'm coming off as super serious and annoying to the general bloop community right now, I swear I'm not usually so uptight lol. This is just something I feel passionately about and I don't think it gets talked about enough.
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14 Jan 2010, 22:47
lithium layouts.
Post Count: 836
Similar things can be said about the Aboriginals in Australia. Children were forcibly taken from their families (the 'stolen generation') and raised in 'missionaries' which taught them to be 'Christian' and to basically forget their true culture. Many of them were beaten, molested; many got sick; many died. The white 'founders' of Australia took over the natives' land. And there was a 'policy of dispersal', which basically meant that if you spotted an Aboriginal person on your land (or anywhere, really), you had the RIGHT to shoot them.

The fact that we are learning this stuff in our history classes says something (however small) about the fact that awareness is slowly being raised about what really went on. We're even currently taught what history classes USED to teach - the idea of 'terra nullius' (roughly translated to 'empty land') - in other words, when the founders arrived at Australia, there was no one here. Not even that there were natives here. Given this 'terra nullius' idea, it was therefore easy to simply dispose of the natives and not give then any rights as human beings. They were treated much worse than animals. And similarly, the effects of all of this persist today. (In my uni course we have countless lectures on the poor state of Aboriginal health, for example.)

So yeah. Parallel stories, different parts of the globe. =D And I definitely understand your mum's perspective. I myself got a more 'environmentalist' perspective from it - treasure the land and every living thing on it, don't let cold, hard, steely technology take over; but I would agree there is some overlap between the perspectives.
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15 Jan 2010, 03:43
//movielayouts//
Post Count: 39
Yeah, my university is pretty good about having lectures and classes about it too - I actually took a class called Aboriginal Health that was really interesting. It's gotta start somewhere!

Regardless of the historical undertones, I still want to see avatar just to look at the pretty blue people! Haha.
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14 Jan 2010, 22:54
lithium layouts.
Post Count: 836
Just as a really random aside - I didn't immediately get the historical native invasion perspective from this movie, but I DEFINITELY felt the whole Christian/God thing from 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. It was immediately and painfully obvious to me. To the point that I could barely concentrate on the movie, the parallels were that obvious and comical. xD
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19 Jan 2010, 00:47
Estella
Post Count: 1779
I agree it was clearly making analogies with natives (although I assume native Americans, since it's an American movie). I think it was trying to glamorise the native communities - showing them as wise, and showing capitalism and colonisation as destructive. I don't think it was trying to make an exact parallel though, or to suggest that this is what happened specifically to specific native communities. There is nothing to suggest that.

It is also making analogies with global warming and the idea that we are destroying the earth. However, it's creating a different world and simply using the analogies in a loose and entertaining and fairy-tale way, to get people to think about things, but also to enjoy the movie and have a magical experience. It's not saying this is specifically what happened in native communities - that would be daft, yo! Art (novels, movies, etc) draws on all kinds of historical/literary things for its themes, but it creates it into something else, with the allusions just being there lightly for you to be aware of and think about. There is clearly a serious undertone in Avatar about the selfishness/greed/destructiveness of American society - but that is just one element of a very multifaceted movie.
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16 Jan 2010, 22:18
Steve
Bloop Owner
Post Count: 109
I think to suggest that the movie is racist is ludicrous as it clearly makes an example of the white man's intolerance of other races for whatever reason. To be racist would be to actually suggest that the white race is in the right for doing what its doing, which is the complete opposite of what the movie actually does!
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12 Jan 2010, 16:03
something amazing.
Post Count: 105
Wow... that's sad. I only thought Avatar was a more expensively done Fern Gully. Remember that movie?! Nearly the same thing. Well they should capitalize on this and make an ever evolving computer game out of it. then all these depressed people can pretend they live there.
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12 Jan 2010, 17:15
Meghans Follie
Post Count: 433
Tails? Humans don't have tails! The start of the Robin Williams as a too funny cartoon persona - who could forget?!
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12 Jan 2010, 17:15
Meghans Follie
Post Count: 433
Tails? Humans don't have tails! The start of the Robin Williams as a too funny cartoon persona - who could forget?!
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12 Jan 2010, 17:20
something amazing.
Post Count: 105
YES! I used to watch that movie constantly. lol. As we were watching Avatar, I started thinking about FernGully and how it was so alike. Craziness!
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14 Jan 2010, 17:44
Rhapsody
Post Count: 53
Oh wow... i used to have his introduction rap memorized and this past halloween one of my friends and her fiance were Crysta and Zak... I shit you not (i can post pictures to prove it). She is Filipino and he's white. It worked out awesomely.

Anyway, I've seen Avatar four times... twice in 2d, once in 3d and the last in IMAX 3d. Yes there were things like the Na'vi being called the blue monkeys. But it's not just Fern Gully. It's also The Last Samurai and Dances with Wolves. Not just those either, check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm3HWjVESL0&feature=video_response

Also, the movie is racist towards both parties involved. The white man is dissing the blue man left and right because the blue man doesn't want roads and beer. And you know what? The white man loses to the blue man's bows and arrows. So... I think people are just taking this movie WAY too far. There are more people pissed about this movie than there are about Michael Moore documentaries. It's a sci-fi film whose biggest criticism is that it's plot is predictable. We all knew what was going to happen. The only real turn in the storyline is that Jake could ditch his human body forever.

People didn't get this upset when it was Tom Cruise getting cozy with the Japanese. Geez... simmer down people.
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15 Jan 2010, 02:37
~*Pagan*~
Post Count: 378
Thats funny cos colin and I both commented how Dances with Wolves and native american it seemed!! I LOVED IT!

People really need top just enjuoy it for the amazing piece of cinematography that it is.
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