'Avatar' has offered critics plenty of side issues to chew over, from its leftish politics (pro-environmentalism, anti-militarism) to Sigourney Weaver's smoking. But the latest issue is the film's alleged racism.

"How can a film about aliens be racist?" you ask. There haven't been anti-'Avatar' protests by actual 10-foot-tall, blue-skinned Na'vi people, have there? (Then again, there aren't any movie theaters or 3-D glasses in the jungles of the planet Pandora, so maybe the Na'vi are just the only people in the universe who haven't seen James Cameron's blockbuster yet.)

Still, the movie's signs of racial paternalism are, to some critics, as apparent as its borrowed plot, with echoes of 'Dances With Wolves,' 'Pocahontas,' 'The Last Samurai,' and other Hollywood films in which a tribe of people of color depend on a white protagonist, who's immersed himself in their culture, to save them from their oppressors.
categories Hot Topic, Avatar