“Avatar” and “Battle of Algiers” are two films that have a lot of similarities regarding the plot and the roles of the characters. Moreover, the central themes of the two films have some aspect of similarity especially in the way the inferior members of the society are treated as well as the rise of a hero. Despite the various similarities, there are differences in the social structures of the society as well as the use of religion. This paper will compare and contrast the two films; “Avatar” and “Battle of Algiers” based on the roles of the starring, military use, and the relationship of the people with nature.
The nature of the military presence of the earth people on Pandora is full of demeaning and looking down upon the inhabitants of Pandora as less civilized. The military’s aim is to gain control over the area so as to exploit the natural resources that are available in the region. In an attempt to ensure the mission is accomplished, there is the use of different strategies that are viewed to be useful in enhancing successful invasion. First, the military sends Jake Sully as a replacement for his deceased brother to spy the Na’vis so that an effective strategy for the best way to attack is adopted. Besides, the military aims at using force to ensure they gain maximum control over the Na’vis. As a result of the hostile tactics, the relationship between the Na’vis and the military is characterized by animosity and hatred. The Na’vis are not ready to interact with the military personnel because they view them as individuals that have come to destroy their peaceful existence. The film is similar to “The Battle of Algiers” greatly since the relationship between the FLN, and the French military is also characterized by hatred and animosity which leads to constant fights between the two (Avatar n.p). Moreover, like the Na’vis, the Algerians are viewed as inferior people; hence, the French are focusing on controlling them. The theme of superiority complex is evident in the two films effectively (“The Battle of Algiers” n.p).
The Na’vis are familiar with the various aspects of nature, and they aim at ensuring that their surrounding is protected since it is the source of their living. They use the available natural resources for the sustainability of their lives. Moreover, they are peaceful people, and they interact with other beings in an efficient manner. However, if there is a sign that other beings want to create an environment that is not effective for peaceful coexistence, they are hostile towards such kind of beings. For instance, they resist the control of the American military since it is not for the benefit of the community. Despite the hostility, they appreciate the fact that Sully is helping them to resist the American military; hence, there is a productive relationship. The Na’vi’s are much inclined to religion as an important pillar of the society. They believe in gods who, for instance, helped Sully to heal. The firm belief in religion makes them want to continue protecting their community from invaders (Avatar n.p). On the other hand in “The Battle of Algiers,” the Algerians are aiming at protecting their natural resources from being encroached by the French. It shows that they respect nature, and they will do whatever it takes to protect it. Moreover, they ensure a good relationship with other being provided they are on the same page in matters affecting the society. If otherwise, they resist those kinds of people and at the end they end up in war. Religion is a significant pillar in the film since the rebels pray whenever they are going to war (“The Battle of Algiers” n.p).
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Ali La Point and Jake Sully share commonalities in the roles, they both, play in the respective films, especially when it comes to the journey of the hero. Ali La Point is the star in the movie in the sense that he makes terrorist attacks in an attempt to resist the control of the French military. He is responsible for the many attacks that are aimed at the French with the intention of making them surrender and flee the area so as to ensure that the Algerians are free. His is a call to ensure that there is independence in Algeria and that people are left free to engage in various activities without being controlled (“The Battle of Algiers” n.p). The same case applies for Sully, who is focusing on ensuring that the American troops do not gain control over the Na’vis. He helps the Na’vis to resist the American military which at the end becomes a successful mission, and the Na’vis view him as a hero and the savior of the community (Avatar n.p). However, the backgrounds of Ali and Sully are different. Ali is a patriotic citizen of Algeria, and that is the reason he fights with zeal to ensure that the French do not gain control over the people of his country. He is part of the country; hence, he fights with determination. On the other hand, Sully is an American and at first, he is seen as an enemy since he was spying the Na’vis. However, he is assimilated into the society after he falls in love with Neytiri, who is one of the Na’vis. His is a quest for ensuring the morals in the society are upheld; hence, he ensures he helps the inferior people from being attacked by his fellow human beings.
The role of Parker Selfridge and Dr. Grace Augustine is to illustrate the oppressive nature of the human race towards the inferior societies. Dr. Grace Augustine is responsible for the Avatar program and she works closely with Parker Selfridge to ensure that the Na’vis have been sabotaged. Selfridge is the head of the army and he commands the military on the methods they will use to attack the Na’vis. Both of them enhance the destruction of the Na’vis.
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In both films, the nature of the military mind is similar, and it focuses on destroying the inferior society. Col. Mathieu in “The Battle of Algiers” wants to kill Ali and other rebels in an attempt to minimize the resistance from the residents. He uses all the tactics he thinks will work to get the rebels and destroy them as fast as possible. For instance, he forces one of the rebels to be a spy who eventually leads them to where Ali and his friends were hiding. Moreover, we experience people being killed in the prison whenever they become violent to the French forces. On the other hand, Colonel Quaritch in “Avatar” also uses force to ensure that those resisting buy his ideas. He also kills those that pose a significant threat to the success of gaining full control of the target society. For instance, Colonel Quaritch wants to suffocate Sully since he has been the main barrier to the success of the mission to monitor the Na’vis. However, Neytiri comes to Sully’s rescue by hitting Quaritch from the back. The use of violence by the military personnel has been common in both films since it has been expressed as the best model for enhancing success in conquering the inferior societies.
Jake Sully is transformed by the love he has for Neytiri and he comes to realize that everybody in the world need to be treated in a respectable manner. He changes because he sees that attacking the Na’vis will do no great harm to people that were living peacefully and harmoniously initially. The moral perspective of Sully makes him combine forces with the Na’vis to resist the oppression of the American military. Ali’s transformation is similar to that of Sully in the sense that he changes because he believes that the Algerians are being oppressed by the French military. His transformation is for the better of the less fortunate in the society.
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The two films have a lot of similarities in advancing the respective themes. There is a hero that helps the society in resisting the influence and control of other societies from other areas. Moreover, the use of military power is also similar as well as the place of religion in the oppressed societies. However, the background of the heroes is different, and that creates the major difference in the themes of the film.