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Avatar and the American Superhero Razzle

Avatar and the American Superhero Razzle

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Published by Michelle Espinosa
In a sense it is a bit foolhardy for a Hollywood mogul to send a letter to a political figure urging him to give up an $11 billion dollar project while plugging the sequel to his next multibillion-dollar blockbuster. Especially coming from a country that already had its industrial and economic growth. To advise a developing country deeply obligated to the World Bank against dams when the United States has almost ten thousand?
In a sense it is a bit foolhardy for a Hollywood mogul to send a letter to a political figure urging him to give up an $11 billion dollar project while plugging the sequel to his next multibillion-dollar blockbuster. Especially coming from a country that already had its industrial and economic growth. To advise a developing country deeply obligated to the World Bank against dams when the United States has almost ten thousand?

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Categories:Types, Reviews, Film
Published by: Michelle Espinosa on Nov 03, 2010
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04/08/2012

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Avatar and the American Superhero Razzle-DazzleJames Cameron, director of Avatar, a recent Hollywood science fiction portrayal of theAmazon that grossed over two billion dollars worldwide, has returned from his first brief trip to Brazil. There he met indigenous leaders from 13 tribes who held a special councilto discuss stopping the Belo Monte Dam Project. At a cost of $11 billion, the Belo Montewould be the third largest dam in the world. Brazil’s environment ministry cleared the project in February for the anticipated bidding. The people who live in that region feel thedevastation would be tremendous. According to a New York Times article, the men Cameron was to meet didn’t knowanything about him or his film, Avatar. It was arranged for these men from out of the jungle to view a DVD of the film the night before Cameron and his wife arrived. Their reported response was that they felt it represented the very situation they had gathered toaddress. It is unlikely anyone asked these people about being portrayed as animal likealien creatures and maybe it is meaningless to them. The implication for minds aroundthe world to perceive these people as alien creatures could very well lead to more harmthan benefit. As for emissaries of the Avatar franchise in the Amazon jungle, the photo, video, and press opportunities from this impassioned, though brief visit are undeniable. CanCameron single handedly save the day? He did write a letter urging the BrazilianPresident to stop the dam project and meet with president Obama. The Brazilian government has stated that the dam is needed to meet current and futureenergy needs. There are those who claim it is being built to power the mining operations.Either way, clearly president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is pleased with Brazil’s growingindustry. In a sense it is a bit foolhardy for a Hollywood mogul to send a letter to a political figure urging him to give up an $11 billion dollar project while plugging thesequel to his next multibillion-dollar blockbuster. Especially coming from a country thatalready had its industrial and economic growth. To advise a developing country deeplyobligated to the World Bank against dams when the United States has almost tenthousand? The positions of both the Brazilian government and Cameron are good examples of adistancing from the Amazon and its people. The government knows the people havealways lived in the forest but there are no official records of their existence in most cases.Cameron, seemingly concerned about these people, visits the Amazon and meets them
 
very briefly. Not nearly the time it takes to truly get to know anyone or his or her family.It’s no wonder he portrays them as alien-feline-spider-monkey people. James Cameron comes across as another concerned and misguided gringo. No doubtspurred on by a deep seeded belief in his own cultural myths especially the myth of theAmerican superhero. The myth has perpetuated for generations because we all want to believe that gringos can swoop in and save the day. Robert Jewett and John SheltonLawrence in American Monomyth described the unfolding of a superhero myth as “Acommunity in a harmonious paradise ... threatened by evil; normal institutions fail tocontend with this threat; a selfless superhero emerges to renounce temptations and carryout the redemptive task; aided by fate, his decisive victory restores the community to its paradisiacal condition; the superhero then recedes into obscurity.” Why does it matter? It matters because of how many people around the world will haveseen Avatar. That’s a lot of minds to carry-on the same outdated mindset. With all thatrazzle-dazzle do you think there was any mental resistance? Yes there are powerfulcorporate forces logging, mining and essentially pillaging places like the Amazon. Oneonly has to read Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, a confessional play-by-play, to seehow these forces operate. They owe their existence to each and every one of us as long aswe are dependent. Are we going to be liberated from the tyranny of these forcessomehow magically because we become aware of them? The myth of the American superhero; one person saving many, might be honorable if itweren’t more of the same old hubris from the land of Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny was the mindset behind an organized effort to expand not only bydivine right but to make the country a ‘better’ place, take over the land, cultivate or mineit, reap the financial benefit. Rid it of its savages. "Away, away with all these cobweb tissues of rights of discovery, exploration,settlement, contiguity, etc. The American claim is by the right of our manifest destiny tooverspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative self-governmententrusted to us. It is a right such as that of the tree to the space of air and earth suitable for the full expansion of its principle and destiny of growth. ...It is in our future far more thanin the past history of Spanish exploration or French colonial rights, that our True Title is

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Great work! I just ordered John Perkins' book... been meaning to read that one!
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