Image via hereI went to see Avatar last night. I did this because my husband has been dying to see it, and I love him. That is the only reason. I typically cannot stand sci-fi movies, much less 3-hour-long sci-fi movies with blue characters. I had 2 glasses of champagne pre-game hoping it would help me through; I was pleasantly surprised.
This sci-fi movie is really a treehugger, socially liberal movie in disguise. The social commentary included everything from honoring the earth and acknowledging where our food comes from to the horrors of war and greed. Love it! The 3-hour movie length didn't even seem too long.
My surprise over this movie got me thinking...is this common...for sci-fi movies to really be social commentary and not just aliens and robots shooting each other? As it turns out, it is. Wikipedia says: "Science fiction films have often been used to focus on political or social issues, and to explore philosophical issues like the human condition."
Here are some that I came up with that I watched in my earlier years that now seem to have been trying to tell me something deeper...maybe even helped cultivate my inner treehugger/liberal:
The Dark Crystal: definitely some good vs. evil to restore the balance of the universe undertones...
E.T.: Steven Speilberg himself called this movie "a minority story." It definitely taught me about tolerance...and the possible exploitative evils of the government.
Wargames: taught us that there is no winner in war. Better to just play a game of chess.
What sci-fi movies can you think of that have an underlying social commentary?
Avatar also made me think of a book that I saw featured on an episode of the Ellen Degeneres show this week; (having a week off of work leaves plenty of time for one to re-discover the trash that is daytime television, though I do like Ellen). It is called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. The author was discussing the book and he wasn't preaching about being vegan or even vegetarian, but encouraging us to at least find out where the meat and animal products we eat come from. He pointed out that some of the major meat producers in the country would not let him visit their farms or plants. He spoke of the evils of caging egg-laying birds and keeping dairy cows indoors and hooked to machines for their whole lives.
Image via hereOne of my 31 things to do in my 31st year includes becoming more aware of what I am eating, where it comes from, and how it will affect my health, so this book is next on my list to read.
And my 31 things to do in my 31st year list is coming soon...(my birthday is Sunday, January 3rd).
Has anyone read the book?