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Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Tilda Swinton, and Paul Dano are bringing plenty of star power to Bong Joon Ho’s film Okja. It has something even more exciting going for it, too. The message of the movie is being hailed as “meat is murder”, and this strong parable tells the story of a young girl who fights for her friend who happens to be a ‘super pig’.
Okja was one of two Netflix-funded movies that screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May, and it was warmly received.
In fact, it received a four-minute standing ovation. Ahn Seo-hyun plays Mija, the young farmgirl in South Korea who loves and cares for Okja. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a zoologist, while Tilda Swinton is the CEO who is out to make a profit off Okja’s life.
Paul Dano plays the leader of an animal rights activist group, so you might guess that this movie is not subtle. Lilly Collins is also an animal rights activist in the movie. The metaphors in Okja seem clear and yet fascinating.
Movies with strong messages can be thought-provoking and inspire great change, yet they can still be entertaining while doing so. Think of all the educational aspects of James Cameron’s Titanic. It has its own message, but it’s told with such a lively story that draws the viewer in and makes you invested in those characters. Nobody sits down to see the movie thinking they are going to be educated, but they learn a lot anyway. The same promises to hold true for this film.
When Swinton’s CEO character takes Okja away from Mija, the young girl fights back. She then embarks on an adventure where multiple people are battling for control of the ‘super pig’. Mija wants to protect her friend so her rescue mission continues. She seems willing to do whatever it takes to rescue Okja and stop the bad people from killing her for meat.
One can’t help but think of recent advocates for real-life pigs like the dads of Esther the Wonder Pig, and it can be easy to imagine something like this happening in real life. The fact of the matter is that it does happen every day with pigs and other animals who are considered “farm animals”. The movie packs a powerful punch with its story and what it has to say.
Okja will be available for streaming on Netflix in late June 2017. You can follow the Okja on Facebook for the latest updates on the movie. Watch the official trailer for a glimpse at what you can expect from the touching film.
Robin Raven is the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas. She has written for publications such as The Malibu Times, Alabama Baby & Child Magazine, the official website of Melissa Gilbert, and USAToday.com. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and is now furthering her education. Robin often has her nose in a book and her arms around a rescued animal. She’s a vegan foodie who blogs at RobinRaven.com and loves to connect with readers on social media. You can follow her @RobinRaven on Twitter.
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