These characters changed the image of women in cinema. They marked the spirits by their singularity, their courage, or even their charisma. We return today to the character of Neytiri in Avatar. A character with such striking sincerity and authenticity that she invites us to reconsider our modern lifestyles. An incarnation of the essential and the strength of the feminine, Neytiri is less inaccessible than one might think;
The return ofAvatar and Neytiri
Avatarthe film by james cameron released thirteen years ago returns at the end of the year with a highly anticipated sequel, Avatar: The Way of the Water, to remind us of its commitments, which are more necessary than ever. As the main female character, there is Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). Warrior, loving, maternal and carnal, she embodies a raw but extended femininity. An essential character by the depth of his soul and his symbolism. Ticking all the attributes of a strong and fulfilled woman, she is a reference of unconditional love and courage, representing femininity fully assumed and embraced.
A spiritual relationship to body and life
Of course, Neytiri evolves among his tribe in a primitive and wild way of life, where connection and direct harmony with nature is the main focus. Naturally, her relationship to the body as a female character is torn and disconnected from irrational and toxic standards and our materialistic societies, sometimes interested in immoral values. Neytiri is a woman who lives in line with her needs, listens to her body and her intuitions as it is the temple of her soul. The body is honored and cherished for its liveliness, for being animated by life, that revered god of the Navis. Out of the question to experience disgust or to criticize in a malicious and degrading way a female body at home, it represents on the contrary the force of life, the capacity to give it and the sacred connection with nature. From this point, Neytiri has, in spite of herself this time, an embraced and assumed femininity, in all that her natural body has of savage, imperfect and even raw.
This essential and anti-dualistic conception of the relationship between body and mind as they are correlated in harmony, brings all its spirituality to the film. Among the Navis, everything actually participates in one, which is the divine, making nature possible, and therefore life in all its forms and variations. We constantly witness this fascination that the Navi have for all that is natural and living, and their way of honoring it as representing the divine. Respect for nature and harmony with it are fundamental values on Pandora, which are also vectors of another way of living in a group at home: they work on mutual aid, sharing and inter-protection. Faced with this society completely different from his own, Jake (Sam Worthington) coming out of a capitalist and individualistic world, often hypocritical and interested, finds himself totally upset. Although the Navis are primitive, it is especially Jake who seems childish and ignorant, so much his essential values are masked and hidden by the superficiality that his society imposes on him. Avatar and the character of Neytiri are then an invitation to redesign our relationship not only to the body, but also to the environment. Rethink the preservation of our nature, human and environmental, from an ecological as well as a spiritual point of view. It can be seen as a metaphor for a critique of capitalism and of the productive and consuming society, alienating the noble and essential principles which are those of the Navis.
A powerful and assumed femininity
One point that also makes her an assertive and striking character is of course the love of which she is capable. The contrast between her raw and wild side and the love she constantly claims creates in her an undeniable confidence and strength. Indeed, her open and generous heart is striking throughout her story, from her meeting with Jake to the moment when she embodies motherhood in volume 2. With Jake, she shows impressive tolerance, she accepts it. in his particularity, takes him under his wing and includes him among his own. Such tolerance and inclusion reveals a great capacity to love, accept and cherish the other. She has this courageous strength, which of course goes hand in hand with her generosity, ultimately embodying the benevolence, protection and gentleness of feminine love par excellence. She immediately notices that Jake has a big heart, despite his clumsiness, and that’s what touched him at home.
Motivated therefore by essential values that are rooted in sharing, help and support, she naturally has a strong maternal side. When she takes Jake under her wing, she becomes his initiator, teaches him everything about life in a tribe on Pandora. He is in an infantile position at the beginning, facing this powerful and courageous woman, both tough and tender. More valiant than Jake, she introduces him to bravery and agility, more connected to his soul and his heart than Jake, she teaches him love and faith. She represents the woman with assumed qualities and legitimately in a position of superiority, respected and listened to, admired. All this in a burst of acceptance and almost unconditional support for the different and the weakest, she is the figure of femininity in power: ignorant of degrading complexes, arduous and gentle.