I loved Avatar.  I gave it a glowing recommendation and several people came back to me disappointed.  I think you can view it in one of two ways.

The first option is to look at the surface and see only the glaring political and social commentary.  The message can be interpreted as anti-military, anti-western, anti-progress, and embracing primitivism and environmentalism.  okay.  yes, that is all there.  it’s a not-so-subtle commentary on the OEF/OIF conflicts raging now, a symbol of American imperialism bulldozing over other cultures we don’t understand for oil.  If you’d like to stop there and see the political message and throw the baby out with the bathwater, feel free!  I’d like to pose an alternative.

The second interpretation is to scratch a bit deeper and see the conflict as fallen vs edenic or redeemed.  this conflict is between men, cultures, views of nature.  I think that the Na’vi embody shalom which is coherence, wholeness, and an interwoven sense of responsibility.  They understand people in time and have a high regard for legacy and tradition as well as people in space in and environment.  I loved the connection of people with the ancestors and with a network of information and wisdom regarding other humans and animals.

I loved the fierce femininity of Neytiri evidenced by her screams of delight and horror and her laughter.  I loved how nimbly she moved and how she was both vulnerable and powerful.

The graphics and music were, of course, stunning.  It is absolutely worth it to see this film in 3-D.  When you do, let yourself feel like a kid again and wonder what it would be like to have a pterodactyl-like friend to fly on through floating mountains.  I felt like life on Pandora hinted at life in Eden or life in the new heavens and new earth.  I really do believe that heaven is real and that we will get new bodies.  I cried when Jake was in his avatar body running around.

I loved seeing the community of the Na’vi act a lot like the church.  The way they did laying on of hands to transfer authority and welcome Jake into the community was powerful.  Also, the “prayer” scene where they all sat in a circle, arm over arm,  pleading for Grace to be saved–that’s how it should be when we have problems in our communities.  Prayer in one voice to our God who is personal and powerful.

I loved the film.  I hope you go see it.  Let me know what you loved!