Native American Indian issues and the avatar film
January 7, 2023
Avatar:The Sense of Water was a huge box office success, proving the value and importance of James Cameron’s sci-fi story. The sequel to the highest-grossing film in cinema history, the first step in the epic saga, has received critical and public praise, but also anger. Some influencers and politicians have accused the film of cultural appropriation, pointing their frustration at Cameron, whom they blame. People from different cultures believe the director stole the designs, stories, and imagery from Native Americans, Natives, etc.
Indigenous arguments against Avatar
With the release of the first episode of “Avatar” in 2009, many viewers criticized the similarity of Pocahontas with the history of Native Americans in the United States, evidence that at the time caused discontent with the film, even though James Cameron always wanted to clarify his point to protect the local population. One word that has not gone uncriticized goes back to Avatar: To Hear the Rain
American actor and singer Yue Begai shared a statement calling for the arrest of Cameron’s film, which has grossed more than $800 million worldwide.
“Don’t watch Avatar: To hear the rain. “Join Native Americans and other international groups in opposing this horrible, racist film,” he wrote on Twitter, along with his open letter to the public.
Begay’s criticism stems from Cameron’s controversial comments in 2009, in which he referred to the Lakota Sioux. “I felt like I went back 130 years to see what the Lakota Sioux would say when they were pushed and killed, asked to move, and given some kind of compensation,” he said. admitted in an interview with The Guardian.
“This was a driving force for me in writing Avatar. I couldn’t help but think that if they had had a time machine and could see the future and their children with the highest suicide rates in the nation because they were hopeless and a dead-end society, they would have fought a lot harder,” the director added in the past.
From then on, the term Blueface would also begin to replace blackface for the cultural appropriation of artistic products, creating a huge disparity of opinions around it.
Be that as it may, the tweet has generated more than 48,000 likes and almost 13,000 retweets on Twitter, where it has divided Internet users over the eternal issue of appropriation. And even more so considering that the events take place in Pandora, where the bluish Na’vi inhabit, a non-existent series even though they are inspired by real events in history.
A non-inclusive cast
Other critics have exposed the film’s white-dominated cast. Although the Metkayina people of Pandora make life on the reefs as indigenous Maori and actor Cliff Curtis, of Maori descent, plays Tonowar, the Metkayina chief.
“All that’s left with those films is the non-indigenous desire to be indigenous or to have some kind of connection to indigenous people,” Adam Piron, filmmaker, and director of the Sundance Institute’s Indigenous program, commented in an interview with CNN.
Echo-Hawk explained that although Avatar: The Way of Water is inspired by Maori people the plot could have been enriched if they had taken advice on their origins, traditions, and culture.
“It’s based on James Cameron’s notion of what he believes is indigenous history, what he believes is indigenous culture,” he said. While some indigenous rights activists refused to see the film, Rhonda Lucy, founder of the Toronto Indigenous Filmmakers Collective, did.