I recently saw Avatar, which was — from a visual point-of-view — stunning in 3D. Part of the visual genius of the film is the ability to create a world that is incredible / fantastic but which becomes credible to the viewer… the visual effects did not distract or call attention to themselves.

From the perspective of story, however, and especially from the perspective of spirituality, I found Avatar much less impressive. The highly caricatured portrayals of good (Navi) and evil (human) provided a simplistic moral universe very unlike the elaborate and complex visual universe of the movie.

Sure, there were a few human characters who showed an interest in the Navi’s world/culture, but in response the solution was to attack the humans, and, in the case of the main character (hero?) Jake, to abandon his human life. He was not some sort of Christ-like mediator figure, but instead one who “switched sides.”

Fr. Robert Barron makes some acute observations about the movie’s “Hollywood-approved spirituality” and how it differs from a Biblical spirituality. See the YouTube video below:

One thought on “Avatar

  1. Thanks, Clayton! This was very insightful. Fr. Barron’s analysis was on the mark. I loved the movie from the visual aspect but the religion was problematic. I can see the danger of some taking the Navi religion seriously and basing their spirituality on the concepts put forth. After seeing the best Avatar can put forth, I still choose the Faith where I am known and loved by my Heavenly Father and can have intimate, personal conversation and relationship with!

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