I watched this last night on Netflix and was amazed at how well the message of animal rights, and the film-makers antipathy toward factory farming, was portrayed. The story-line was extremely well written and as a viewer, you felt every emotion along with the main character, Mija.
The film starts with a kick-off party scene of a major corporate company (Mirando Corporation) launching a new “product”. They’ve chosen 26 farmers across the world to raise a new super pig over a span of ten years, the “winner” will be flown back to the US to celebrate the “best pig”. One of the super pigs, Okja, is sent to South Korea to be raised by a farmer and his grand-daughter, Mija.
Okja, a hippo sized pig hybrid, is a kind and compassionate animal; as most are. The viewer is treated to beautiful interactions between Okja and Mija as they climb the mountainside together and even curl up at night to sleep. Bong Joon Ho, the films mastermind, does a phenomenal job creating the relationship not only with the characters, but with the viewer and the characters.
Soon after being introduced to the Okja and Mija, Mirando Corp shows up to claim their “property” as Okja has been chosen as the best pig. What plays out next is a roller coaster of emotion. We are introduced to a small group of ALF (Animal Liberation Front) activists who, astonishingly, are not depicted as eco-terrorists but as rescuers/ guardians for Okja and Mija.
Without ruining a ton more of the film, there is one scene I’d love to point out and that’s where Okja has to be saved from a farm. We know about the 26 super pigs that were sent out across the globe but what we weren’t told is that others were also being raised to be part of the food system. Okja had been brought to a gigantic processing plant and you can hear the screams and cries of other super pigs as Mija and the ALF crew try to find Okja and save her.
The CGI and cinematography are top rate. Okja is a masterpiece, truly. The imagery is beautiful, whimsical and as visually appealing as you can get. The production is absolutely amazing and the locations for filming were absolutely stunning.
You will cry, this movie is sad. That is no reason to not watch it though, it’s necessary and I think, better yet hope, that you will view it with friends. Is it kid friendly? Minus some language it is completely kid friendly, I’d let my boys watch it and they are 9 and 13 years old.
Check out the trailer below or just fire up your Netflix account and watch this tonight!