October 14, 2011

Amazon worldview influences Avatar 2

How Amazonian tribes influenced James Cameron’s Avatar 2How have your experiences there influenced Avatar 2?

I've certainly learned from it. I've learned a little bit more about the indigenous community's perspective on our world. The way they think and the way they feel that they are (in a way) tasked by destiny to be the protective spirits of their rainforest, of their world. They are the people who speak for the natural world and we need to listen to them for a number of reasons. First of all, they have the right to exist the way they're used to existing, we don't have the right to change that. Although that doesn't seem to stop us. And secondly, because we need their wisdom. We need to listen to nature a lot more than we do as as civilization. And we're not listening and we're in peril right now.

We also asked Avatar producer Jon Landau (who has also traveled with Amazon Watch and Cameron) how these trips have impacted his film.

How did the Amazon experience impact Avatar 2?

Jon Landau: It gave us an even greater sense of social responsibility, that our films can have a social impact on people around the world and make an impact. And one of the great things I think Jim is able to do in Avatar is, he didn't preach but he exposed things to people and let them come to their own conclusions. So no one went out and said this is wrong and this is right, they took it upon themselves to interpret it however they saw fit. And I think as we go forward—not just as it relates to the movie—but as it relates to what we're doing with the Disney theme parks, whatever we might do in publishing. In the movies, we realize that we have a social responsibility to challenge people to do what Jake did in the movie. Open their eyes. We don't tell them what to do after they open their eyes, because we believe people make the right decisions, we just challenge them to open their eyes.
Comment:  Cameron and Landau don't say how Avatar 2 will be different, but they drop a few hints. More socially responsible, more challenging and provocative...whatever that means. Perhaps a deeper look into the indigenous worldview, since Avatar was so shallow. More of Neytiri's viewpoint and less of Jake's.

On Facebook, Brad responded to this posting by saying, "If that were true he [Cameron] could spare us another three-hour snooze fest and donate the billion-dollar budget to Native tribes." I replied, "No! The world needs another billion-dollar movie to warn us about conserving our resources."

For more on Avatar 2, see Avatar 2 Cast to Meet Indians and Brainstorming Avatar 2 with Indians.

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