Went to see Avatar and sat in the front row, which made the experience even more hallucinogenic. To an audience who thinks it has seen everything, Hollywood continues to say, "You ain't seen nothing yet". And that's true. Avatar is aesthetically amazing.
It's also brilliantly subversive, as Gilad Atzmon points out in Counterpunch: "A Humanist Call From Mt. Hollywood ". Unlike, "The Lord of the Rings" films, to which it can be compared in terms of spectacle, but which some saw as a metaphor for America's war on the "Axis of Evil", there are no questionable messages here. The movie is against war, colonialism, cultural intervention and exploitation. Instead it defends the values of indigenous peoples and legitimizes their resistance. It promotes a worldview based on holism and interconnectedness of all life. Instead of the rapacious aliens that have appeared in so many science fiction films, humans are the aliens, coming to plunder and destroy, under the cover of a phony do-goodism.
At the end of the movie we stir from our seats, remove the 3D glasses that have transported us to this fantasy world, and exit the theater to the realities of life on earth - in my case to the city of Modiin that shoulders its way into the West Bank and whose mayor wants its Road 443 artery to Jerusalem to remain closed off to Palestinians.