In addition to being a form of entertainment, movies provide an opportunity for people to learn about different perspectives and worldviews, creatively expressed through plot, characters, and visuals. avatar is a film directed by james cameron and released in 2009. the director offers two different approaches to see the world: the spiritual and the capitalist. This article aims to examine the worldviews presented in avatar through the dialogues between the characters in the film.
The plot of the film reveals the central worldview that Cameron intends to represent: the right of people in the way they choose to treat nature. The plot of the movie shows that people destroyed their planet and came to Pandora to get its natural resources. Considering this lack of reflection on his actions, an essential worldview in the avatar is the focus on the material aspects of life. the plot revolves around a natural resource unobtanium, which is “worth $20 million per kilogram” (landau & cameron, 0:12:18). therefore, the main reason the people of the land came to pandore is for profit, no matter what harm they may cause to indigenous communities or the planet.
parker selfridge embodies this worldview as it only cares about the profits to be made from natural resources. in one of the scenes she states-“those savages are threatening our whole operation” when referring to pandora’s indigenous population (landau & amp; cameron, 0:22:13). he says this regardless of the fact that his and his team came to this planet and want to steal something from the na’vi to benefit financially, regardless of the consequences. therefore, an important worldview demonstrated in the avatar is capitalistic, according to which a person only cares about money.
Na’vi, the indigenous peoples who live on this planet, have a very different worldview than the people on earth. they are more focused on the spiritual aspects of their lives and, in the film, are able to physically connect with every living thing on their planet through special cables. this symbolizes the close connection between your physical bodies and your spiritual beings or your souls. the following describes the way these creatures perceive the world and people: “The Na’vi say that every person is born twice.” (Landau & Cameron, 0:54:07). Here, Jake explains that the Na’vi believe that one has to find one’s place in a community, further emphasizing the importance of spirituality and the connection between people and things.
The film then portrays a crisis of spirituality, manifesting as a worldview where everything can be explained through a scientific lens. Grace Augustine, the scientist who helps Jake transform into an avatar, is an example of this approach. in particular, she is constantly looking for a way to explain the spiritual approach of the indigenous people, bypassing spirituality itself. In particular, as Jake becomes more aware of how Na’vi view the world, she changes her view of her world. In the final scene, she says, “I see you, brother, and thank you. your spirit goes with eywa. your body is left behind to become part of the people” (landau & cameron, 2:28:20). This demonstrates how Jake’s worldview changes from capitalist and scientific to spiritual.
Another group, which is presented in this film and has a different worldview, is the military. they see the world from the perspective of specific tasks they have to accomplish. the only reason they choose to follow a friendlier approach to resettling the Na’vi is that attacking them would result in significant losses. An important feature of the military worldview is that people do not often question the orders they receive. Colonel Miles Quaritch makes this point when describing the Na’vi gathering to attack his base: “Everyone on this base, every single one of you, is fighting for survival, and that’s a fact” (Landau & Cameron, 1 :40:12). this is despite the fact that people invaded the na’vi planet and wanted to resettle the population.
Based on the different worldviews presented in avatar, it can be concluded that the importance of this element is essential. the worldview directs a person’s actions and helps him determine what is right and what is not. For example, scientist Grace Augustine’s approach allows her to participate in using one planet’s resources until there is nothing left and move on to the next. for her, this can be seen as natural, because her view of her world does not take spirituality into account. Na’vi, on the other hand, focus on spirituality because they aim to see or understand a person.
Overall, in this document, the different worldviews presented in the avatar were examined. Mainly, the capitalist and spiritual approaches are the central themes of this film. on the one hand, scientists like grace augustine try to explain everything rationally, while on the other hand, na’vi focuses on trying to “see” a person. other distinct worldviews represented in this film are scientific and military. worldviews are essential because they shape the way a person perceives the world around them and the events that happen, which is demonstrated in the avatar.
landau, j. & cameron, j. (2009). avatar [motion picture]. united states: 20th century fox.