I just saw the feature film "Avatar" this evening. Well, for starters, let's just say I was blown away. Folks who know me well have been insisting I see this movie. Now I know why.
I'll confess that I was crying my eyes out for most of the film: not because it was merely beautiful (although it certainly was breath-taking), and not because of the plot (a good plot, but not earth-shatteringly innovative) or the love-story aspect. What brought tears to my eyes is the fact "Avatar" is true. It is a true story.
It's almost a shame that it might take a gorgeous, complex piece of cinematographic art to encourage people see what deep in their hearts they already know is true. Every tree is a Home Tree, every tree is a Tree of Souls. It's right in front of us everyday, but when can we say to that tree before us "I see you." ?
You should expect this point of view from a guy who is constantly painting trees.
Friends have also said they see a particularly Buddhist worldview at work in the film. I'm not sure about that. Like I said, it only expresses truth. Buddhists don't necessarily have a monopoly on that. The truth of Avatar is certainly found in Buddhism, but transcends it. It is a truth that all indigenous peoples hold dear as well.
If you haven't seen Avatar, you should. And make sure you see it in 3-D! (Although, I'll admit the 3-D made me a bit nauseous at points). The film is a beautiful work of art, with a message that we can't afford to ignore.
Image details: "Sleepers #3," 5x7" graphite and water-soluble pencil. A new visual idea I'm exploring. Completed way back in December, long before I knew anything about Avatar.
Image details: "Treeform-chiasm" acrylic on canvas, 28x20" Completed last week.