Chinese blogosphere reacts to tragic real estate parable in Avatar

by Dana on January 8, 2010

Avatar (2009 film)

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The WSJ translation of this Chinese blogger’s review [Chinese] of “Avatar” really doesn’t do it justice.

It’s pretty dry, originally interpretive, and hilariously sincere in embracing a movie previously thought by critics to be about our recurring fantasies around pantheism and racial guilt, into an Avatar with Chinese sentiments.

And the focus is on a subject close and dear to the Chinese heart – real estate.

Temporarily forgetting its own creeping neo-colonialism in certain parts of the world, the Chinese turns domestic, and sees the struggle on Pandora an analogy to Chinese government’s strong hand in evicting residents from their homes to make way for new developments.  In the past decades of economic development, this kind of forced eviction benefited mainly real estate developers and local governments officials – many in bed with real estate developers, have left a pretty permanent mark on the Chinese psyche.

Chinese netizens react. Hilarity ensues.

Here are some comments:

Strongly condemn the Western director for using Avatar to allude to China’s current situation!!

Avatar is the story of violent eviction and demolition [of people's homes] in China.

The humans actually failed to successfully evict and demolish [the aliens]? Truly embarrassing. Why didn’t they send China’s chengguan there earlier?

This film is too reactionary, encouraging China’s ordinary common people to use violence to resist demolition!!! [It is an] attempt to subvert the great China!!

“Avatar” shows the director’s deep understanding and concern for the (forceful) eviction and demolition [of people's homes] in China!!

“Avatar”, Chinese name “A Chengguan’s Vindication/Confessions”;
“District 9“, Chinese name “Director of Demolitions”;
“The Matrix”, Chinese name “State Apparatus”

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