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  • 1. Industrialization and Pollution

2. Alec Marx- Cultural Aspects, Themes, Characters,Overview, Discussion QuestionsJohnny Chen- Original source information, Animation,Storyline, Intro, Video clip, Discussion questions 3. (Intro Slide)"By the 22nd Century, humans have severely depleted Earths natural resources and have traveled light-years to Pandora, a densely forested habitable moon orbiting the gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri star system to mine a valuable mineral unobtanium in order to stave off an energy catastrophe back home. Pandora, whose atmosphere is poisonous to humans, is inhabited by the Navi, 10-foot tall (3.0 m), blue- skinned, sapient humanoids who live in harmony with nature and worship a mother goddess called Eywa, but they are understandably unfriendly. Our protagonist, Jake Sully, then takes on this important mission to build a - bridge of trust - with the natives to negotiate a deal, and his journey begins..." 4. (Original Source Info) There is no original source of Avatar the film because,the film was a gather of ideas from the writer/director,James Camerons childhood. (Says Cameron himself inthe following link) Title of the film came from the incarnation of one of theHindu gods taking a flesh form. The image of Avatar characters came from Cameronsmothers dream. 5. (Animation) In order to make Avatar the movie look as real as possible, theproducer/director/writer, James Cameron, used the most cutting edgespecial effects and visuals, creating his "unparalleled masterpiece oftechnology." Some of the amazing technologies used in create the movieAvatar were:1. Stereoscopic 3D Fusion Cameras - The fusion of two cameras to mimic the vision of the human eyes, allowing the filming of the movie to be more realistic.2. High-Detail Performance Capture - Attachment of cameras to the actors faces, to get every facial expression of the actor, making the Navi characters look more realistic.3. Virtual Camera System - Special view piece (looks similar to a television) allowing the director to adjust and direct scenes just as if shooting live action. 6. (Storyline) The paraplegic Marine, Jake Sully, takes his brothers placein a mission on the distant world of Pandora to negotiate adeal with the natives for their land. Jake was not accepted by the natives at first, but after mucheffort, he was finally accepted by many. Jake falls in love with a native, and felt more connected withthe clan. The deal didnt work out, Jake was forced to take sidebecause the humans will destroy the Natives sacred tree. Natives fought back and won. Every human were expelled from Pandora and sent back toEarth, with the exceptions of Jake, Norm, Max and a fewother scientists. 7. Human Characters Jake Sully is a disabledex-marine who is called toDr. Grace Augustine is one oftake the place of histhe scientists who occupies anrecently deceased brotheravatar body. She gets to knowas an avatarthe Navi, and ends up dieing inscientist/explorer on thean attempt to fight for the Navi.Planet Pandora. He endsfalling in love with Neytiri,one of the Navi, and fightsagainst the humans toprotect the Navi. Colonel Miles Quaritch isin charge of the military onPandora, and will doanything for the interest ofhis country, and wouldnever betray his nation or 8. Navi CharactersNeytiri is the daughter of the leader of the Navi clan, and reluctantly agrees(based on the request of her mother and a sign from their god Eywa) toteach Jake the ways of her clan before eventually becoming his lover.Neytiri represents the strength and commitment of women and how they arejust as strong, if not stronger than men. Neytiri is a big warrior, and Jake isreally a small crippled man.Tsutey is next in line to rule the Navi and is supposed to marry Neytiri whenJake first stumbles upon the clan. Eventually he ordains Jake with the title ofToruk Makto, and willingly and gratefully fights for him against the humans. Hedepicts the attachment that the Navi have towards their cultural roots and toeach other. Tsutey is representative of the courage that it takes to lead as awarrior. He daringly jumps into an aircraft alone during the final battle, andafter being shot, has Jake customarily end his life before he dies. 9. Theme:Connectednessof humans tonatureOne of the main themes that Avatar focuses on is that all living things areconnected, and if we try to exploit that connection, we will only destroyourselves. The film shows that since nature and humans are connected wecant abuse nature without inflicting negative consequences on ourselves.This is a major theme that unfolds at the end of the film. Once the humansblow up Home Tree (where this Navi tribe resides), and decide to go on amission to destroy the tree of souls, nature turns against them and defeatsthe destructive attempt. This is apparent when all of the animals that usedto be hostile to the Navi band together and charge against the humans todefend their land and way of life. Without any guidance from the Navi , theIkran (the flying birds that the Navi ride) swoop from the sky and attack thehuman aircraft, while forest animals charge the human soldiers on theground. Neytiri yells, "Jake, Eywa heard you!" implying that mother naturehad realized the importance of protecting itself and the connectedness ofliving things. The more destructive the humans tried to be, the more quicklythey were defeated. 10. Theme: Greed and MoralityAvatar has great examples of human greed. The initial attempt of the humans was not to destroy the Navi, but to obtain the precious metal Unobtainium that is found in abundance on Pandora. The demand for this metal on earth is apparently very high, and the whole exhibition was not to conduct scientific research but to gather this metal to sell on Earth. When the largest concentration of metal was underneath Home Tree, and the Navi did not want to leave their home, the humans blew up the tree anyway, killing many innocent Navi. The morality of respect for the life of others was ignored at the expense of human greed. 11. Theme: Humans are Moral at HeartThe interesting thing about Avatar is that although the movie is centered on humans destroying another race, humans end up being the ones that help the race and that races world survive. Jake Sully is faced many times by the colonel of the military, and told to step down, and let them move in and destroy the Navi. When Jake refuses and he is unplugged from his Navi body after fighting against the human efforts, him and the others that have avatars risk their lives to save the race because it is the moral thing to do. Betraying the interest of ones race would not be an easy thing to do, yet these characters still risk their lives, and willingly neglet the interest of their race since the 12. Cultural Aspect: Navi vs. NativeAmericansThe Navi bear a striking resemblance to the Native Americans. When Europeans discovered North America they automatically assumed the land and resources belonged to them, and were there to service them. This assumption as well as the desire for wealth and power clouded their judgements, and soon was the only the thing that mattered. Native Americans were just an obstacle in uncovering the wealth of the land, and the lifestyle of the natives was neglected and destroyed in the interest of the land. In Avatar, the exact same thing is happening. White humans discover a new land with the resources to promote wealth, and the interest of the Navi is ignored because greed is fueling the efforts of the humans. The only difference between the movie, and our cultures history is that the natives succeed. Avatar is an example of the guilt that we as people now living in North America have towards the mistakes we have made in our past. Having white humans rebel against their own in the interest of morality shows that that would have been the moral thing to do when we were stealing land, and peace from the Native Americans. 13. Cultural Aspect:Purpose of Military UseEven though this film is Canadian, the issue of recent military ventures in the United States is questioned by Avatar. There are issues as the whether the United States declared war on terrorism, or went to war to obtain oil and fuel major corporations keeping the United States running. In Avatar, the whole mission to Pandora is supposed to be to do scientific work on the environment and learn about life on the planet. However, as the film progresses it becomes apparent that the goal of learning about life on the planet is not an innocent attempt to improve scientific knowledge, but a way to get to understand the Navi so as to eventually use that knowledge to exploit the precious resource Unobtainium that is so bountiful on Pandora. The fact that that the actual goals of military are slightly hazy and ambiguous in the film correlates with the fact that the recent goals of the United States military have been ambiguous. 14. Cultural Aspect:PollutionWe live in a culture that is majorly dependent on natural resources. Wecontinue to deplete those natural resources at an exponential rate, and weare all responsible for that. Many of us think that if we are not physicallycutting down a tree, or if we print papers double sided, that we are notresponsible for the destruction of natural resources. In Avatar, all of thehumans are seen as being responsible for the destruction of Pandora insearch for Unobtainium, except the few who physically fight against it.During the time period in the film, Earths natural resources have beendepleted and almost every square inch of the planet is covered in concrete.The people living on Earth and not doing anything to improve the conditionsof the planet, are viewed as being guilty of destruction, as are the peopleflying the aircraft and shooting guns on Pandora. Avatar shows thatalthough we might realize we are depleting our natural resources, we are allguilty of the immorality of destroying mot