Avatar demonstrates how symbolic resources circulate in the global media ecosystem in complex and contradictory ways. On the surface, Avatar is a typical product of the culture industry. Its production, marketing, product tie-ins, and normal hype that accompanies blockbuster films point to it being just another Hollywood spectacle appropriating social anxieties for profit. In particular, the film was criticized as a simplistic New Age fantasy that demeans and stereotypes indigenous cultures. Yet audiences reacted profoundly to the movie. The film visualizes a war of opposing knowledge systems: one based on the commodification of natural resources versus a sophisticated ecoculture struggling against colonial forces of extraction and destruction.
Willie Nelson, Coldplay, Chipotle and director Johnny Kelly collaborated with the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation to create this short animated film highlighting the issue of sustainable farming. This video is good for generating a discussion about different food systems–sustainable and industrial–and how these systems are represented. This is also excellent for exploring the spectrum of environmental ideologies (anthropocentric versus ecocentric). Given that this is produced by a fast food chain, could this be considered an example of greenwashing?