n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - Film as communicational mediation of the ecological crisis : Avatar and The Road

Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



This paper is a communication-oriented, ecological interpretation of James Cameron's recent film, , and of John Hillcoat's - two films that address the current global ecological crisis very differently. By 'ecological' is meant that - in the case of - the film is ecologically significant in its stressing of the vital interconnectedness of all living beings both with one another and with their inorganic environment. The question of how this ecological stance is cinematically articulated in , in science-fictional terms, is all important, because a communicational failure in this regard would fall short of imparting to audiences the potential outcome of the continuing destruction of ecosystems, comparatively speaking, on Earth. In the ecological dimension is encountered very differently, because the cinematic-communicational means employed function in a register at odds with that utilised in . The point of this paper is to explore the communicational differences, including the one regarding cinematic-communicational , between the two films, regardless of the fact that, arguably, they promote the same ecological insights.

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