From big blue to infinite blues?
This was not the intention of director James Cameron, when he unveiled the feature film
to the world at the end of 2009 .
Rich in special effects, this ecological fable, featuring a distant planet, populated by blue humanoids living in symbiosis with nature, aroused historic enthusiasm among spectators, and at the same time, left behind a sweet taste- bitter, even deep distress.
As reported in a
article , published a few months after the film's release, some fans felt depressed and dissatisfied with their lives once the theater lights were turned back on.
And as a second opus sees the light of day this week,
recalls in its columns that “the post-Avatar depression syndrome” can still rage.
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A far too seductive utopia
Post Avatar Depression Syndrome , known by the acronym PADS (
Post Avatar Depression Syndrome),
is not a medically recognized condition, but the negative feelings that come with it seem very real.
"Ever since I went to see
, I've been depressed," said a man named Mike on the "Naviblue" fan forum, shortly after the film was released in 2010. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi (
the humanoids , Editor
's note ) made me want to be one of them.
I can't stop thinking about everything that happened in the movie and all the tears and chills I got from it."
Mike is far from alone.
In 2010, the forum on which he posted his testimonial lists more than 1,000 messages describing similar feelings, reports
According to the Internet users concerned, our planet Earth pales in comparison to the fantastic panorama of Pandora, this world where the people of blue humanoids live.
“It took the best of our technology to create this virtual world, and real life will never be as utopian as it looks on screen.
It makes real life more imperfect,”
Dr. Stephan Quentzel, a New York psychiatrist, told
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Eco-anxiety and suicidal thoughts
This melancholy is accompanied by deep anxiety, linked to global warming.
"I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed ... gray, said at the time on a forum Ivar Hill, a 17-year-old Swede.
It's as if my whole life, everything I've done and worked for, has lost its meaning.
It all seems so... meaningless.
I still see no reason to keep doing anything.
I live in a dying world.
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In 2010, the phenomenon mainly concerned young men, indicate our colleagues from
“Many feel alone at school or without support at home,” reports the media.
In the most tragic situations, this malaise has even led to the development of dark thoughts.
“I even thought about suicide, telling myself that I might be reincarnated in a marvelous world like Pandora”, declared a user on the “Naviblue” forum.
How to get out?
To fight against this feeling of helplessness and this syndrome hitherto unknown to medicine, fans have been able to count on the support of their online community.
Some invite people to defend the planet, to mobilize for it, not hesitating to share advice on ways to reduce consumerism and waste.
"Start to live like Neytiri (
main character of the film, editor's note
), in contact with nature, the environment, and without being greedy or wasteful," wrote one of them.
Thirteen years later, the Swede Ivar Hill, contacted by the
New York Times Magazine
, congratulates himself on having overcome his PADS.
Coached by his web friends, he started reading philosophy and spending more time in the forest, even trying his hand at hiking.
Thanks to his testimony, the now thirty-something man found love on a forum dedicated to
, of which he is still the moderator.
“My life would be very, very different if I hadn't seen this movie by chance in 2010,” he concludes.
Before adding in an enigmatic tone: “Maybe if it wasn't
, something else would have come up”.