Hollywood blockbusters aren’t usually notable for their artistic or political
subtlety. And James Cameron’s latest sci-fi hit, "Avatar," would seem to be no
exception, going by the lament of some critics that the film’s impressive
special effects are undercut by a skimpy story line and flat dialogue.
That, however, is not how many Chinese see the film, which tells the story of
rapacious humans trying to evict the blue-skinned natives of the planet Pandora
in order to extract some exceedingly valuable mineral. This is standard
politically correct fare for a Western audience, conveying a message of racial
sensitivity and environmental awareness. In China, however, it has more
That’s because Chinese local governments in cahoots with developers have become
infamous for forcibly seeking to evict residents from their homes with little
compensation and often without their consent. More often, however, they are
driven away by paid thugs. Private property is one of the most sensitive issues
in the country today, and "Avatar" has given the resisters a shot in the arm.
Even in Hong Kong, the "Avatar" banner has been taken up by antigovernment
activists trying to defeat a plan to demolish a village to make way for a new
high-speed railway line. One mysterious benefactor reportedly donated movie
tickets to the villagers to stoke their enthusiasm for protests.
rapacious：形容詞，指貪婪的、強取的，如a rapacious landlord/businessman（貪婪的房東／商人）。
undertone：名詞，指文章、話語或某事件的潛在含意，如I thought her speech had slightly sinister
in cahoots with：cahoots為名詞，指合夥、同謀，in cahoots with指與他人合夥圖謀不軌，如It’s reckoned that
someone in the government was in cahoots with the assassin.（外界認為政府內部有人與刺客同謀。）