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Old December 24 2009, 06:51 PM   #16
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

I wondered if this film was yet another Magic Whitey story, like Forbidden Kingdom, Last Samurai, and the Transformer films, in that the most important heroes in the film aren't the most powerful or the most skilled or the most knowledgeable, but it's a white kid who for some reason has a certain something that Asians or even giant alien Robots don't possess.

However, with Avatar, I think a somewhat legit case could be made against that. Jake Sully still fails to really excel at the Na'vi's culture, skills, and abilities, even by the end. This is in some ways a total reversal to Last Samurai, where somehow Tom Cruise not only adopts the ways of the samurai, but actually improves upon it to the point where he's one of the last surviving characters.

But... it's still kind of disturbing in that in order for Jake to be truly a part of their civilization, he has to switch bodies. There's a concept of Racist Love, in that some people will go to extremes in order to appease their racial fetishes (ie, a white person dating only Asians, an Asian dating only Latinos, etc. etc) and compound that with having a home filled with nothing but an Asian motif, but I'm quite sure there are those with Racist Love who would just love to switch minds with a minority just to be that much closer, a sort of either cultural envy or cultural self-disgust.

Regardless, however, this is a very complex discussion from all sides and I don't think anyone really has a right or wrong answer thus far in the thread.
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