I went to see Avatar yesterday. I have heard much from friends, professors, and others about the symbology and storyline so I decided it was time. Time very well spent. As someone who has spent the last few years of her life studying, practicing, and exploring earth-based Goddess history and traditions, the movie sends a powerful message.
A female deity, several strong women characters, a living planet with a soul in which all beings are connected in a web of life, and an indigenous people that take back their planet and do not succumb to colonizing all tell a very different story than our Western culture has been spoon feeding us for the last 2000 years or more.
It is encouraging to me to know that many young people have watched this movie and been exposed to these concepts. This is how we insert new patterns into our culture - through the arts and media. Showing that one man cannot do it all himself, thereby blowing up the false hero myths is wonderful. Showing rituals and deep bonding with the environment clearly tell a tale that these things are not "evil". Evil in this movie is finally named for what it is - hierarchical, patriarchal, and money-grubbing.
For me, one of the best parts of the movie is when Neytiri yells "She heard you, She heard you!" The planet has a soul and is truly alive.