It's Science FICTION you dick!

I went and saw Avatar yesterday. It is simply the best movie I have ever seen. At three hours long it should be, but me, the missus and kids sat riveted the whole way through.

Then I read that some Maori “academic” has decided that Avatar repeats “negative stereotypes” about indigenous people. WTF! the Na’vi win! They defeat the evil colonisers and destroyers of nature. Next thing we will hear the Catholics are marching in the streets because the movie depicts God as Gaia, the Earth Mother.

The head of the School of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury, Rawiri Taonui, said Avatar addressed the impact of colonisation on indigenous people in an entertaining way, but relied on stereotypes.

“It was a great movie and had some progressive themes, but did it in a way that still repeated some stereotypes,” he said.

Taonui said the “rhythmic body swaying” of the indigenous people during a ceremony only appeared in “B-grade movies” and “just doesn’t happen in any indigenous population”.

Uhmmm….the “rhythmic body swaying” is FICTION, it’s a movie, it isn’t a story about any indigenous population anywhere except in someones clearly furtive imagination. He makes sillier satements though if you could believe that was at all possible.

“The indigenous men were not very good when it came to sorting out the problems. They just grunted. That contradicts history,” he said.

“Indigenous people were overwhelmed by colonists, but they resisted against overwhelming odds.

“They all came up with strategies to try and overcome their situations.”

Contradicts history? What planet is this “academic” on? The movie is set in the FUTURE. It is FICTION. The film is set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a fictional Earth-like moon in a distant planetary system.

Now for sure there are some parallels to our history. For a start there is a correlation to the Plains Indians about the “Settlers coming like the wind over the land, you cannot stop them” or words to that effect. James Cameron has also said he drew aspects of the film from Dances with Wolves. The effect of white settlement on the Plains Indians and the eventual reservationisation of them is clearly a theme in the film.

But if you study any other history other than the incredibly short and violent history of the Maori, say for instance that of the rise of the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan then you can see the correlation there too of the rise of an indigenous population (the Mongols) rising from under their oppressors (The Chin) and defeating them. In fact Jake Sully actually has a Genghis moment when he implores all the tribes of Pandora to unite as a nation. Which is exactly what Genghis Khan did to amalgamate all the small tribes of Mongols as a nation to drive the Chin away and then the Tartars, and so on until his Empire was bigger than the Romans ever managed.

The stupid maori “academic” should just STFU and learn something more than the post-modern definition if “indigenous”.

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