James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.
On the fan forum site “Avatar Forums,” a topic thread entitled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.
“I wasn’t depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ,” Baghdassarian said. “But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.”
A post by a user called Elequin expresses an almost obsessive relationship with the film.
“That’s all I have been doing as of late, searching the Internet for more info about ‘Avatar.’ I guess that helps. It’s so hard I can’t force myself to think that it’s just a movie, and to get over it, that living like the Na’vi will never happen. I think I need a rebound movie,” Elequin posted.
Oh come on… It isn’t the beauty of the movie, it is the honesty about how evil and destructive we can be that would make people depressed. I didn’t find it depressing, I suppose because I’ve spent a lot of my life looking at the ugliness of human behavior (war, scams, torture, denial, xenophobia, etc.) in hopes of finding some solutions. When the soldiers began destroying things in the movie, I was thinking, “Yup. That’s what we do. People with the big guns seem to find justification in their minds to slaughter people with the resources by thinking of them as strange, crazy, savage, and so on. That is our way.”
There is nice bit of mental protection in the “I already knew that about humans” thought.