Avatar Book Has Nothing to Do With Activism

Administrator | Home | Monday, March 1st, 2010


Millions have seen and loved the film Avatar. I personally did not like it very much, for a number of reasons. Regardless, I noticed the film’s social justice undertones in which a group of indigenous people overcomes the oppression of corporate greed and mercenary fire power.

There was plenty of room for a thoughtful, derivative work that explored the social justice themes of the film. (It was banned in ‘China’ (whatever that means these days) and then a mountain was named after it in ‘China’ too.) However, Avatar: A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora has nothing to do with activism. Somewhat wedged between a Star Wars encyclopedia and a silly essay about resisting the corporation, this work feels like an amalgam of backstory and storyboarding.

I think there’s potential to extract a better story out of Avatar, and I’m sure HarperCollins will leap at the chance. Or is a good derivative work another name for ‘Unobtanium’?

–Deji Olukotun

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