I’m sure you’ve heard of the movie Okja by now, released on Netflix last month. Since it’s release, the plant-based community has been buzzing about this movie ever since. So, I finally decided to sit down and watch it. Here are my thoughts on Okja. *Spoiler Alert*
The movie begins with a large corporate meeting (a.k.a the Mirando Corporation). A woman is outlining the new super pig initiative, where 26 genetically modified super pigs are given to local farmers from various countries around the world. The super pig will be raised by each local farmer using their traditional farming techniques. After 10 years pass, the Mirando Corporation will visit each farm and determine the best super pig!
A young girl from Korea (Mija) grows up with a super pig named Okja on her grandfather’s farm. It is clear from the first 5 minutes of the film that they have developed a strong and loving friendship throughout the years.
Eventually, a representative from the Mirando Corporation (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) travels to the small Korean farm to see how Okja has developed. As Okja was showered with love, she was deemed the prized super pig, perfect for human consumption.
The Mirando Corporation begins transporting Okja to the United States, but they are quickly interrupted when masked “terrorists” target the truck. It becomes clear that the masked individuals are part of an animal activist group. Mija and the activists travel to the United States in an attempt to save Okja and expose the Mirando Corporation.
The film ended with Mija saving Okja and a baby super pig from the Merando Corporation slaughter house. Mija, Okja and the baby super pig return to Korea and continue their lives together on the farm.
I really enjoyed this film and thought it was extremely powerful and thought-provoking. Okja was essentially a pig and a cow hybrid with dog-like mannerisms. The character Okja shows us there is no difference between a farmed animal and a dog. However, society has conditioned us to think that one animal is for eating and one is for petting. In reality, all animals feel love and pain.
I personally didn’t like how the movie ended. While I was extremely happy Mija and Okja were reunited and back on the farm in Korea, the film left me asking so many questions, like: “What happened to the Mirando Corporation?” and “Did the other super pigs escape the slaughterhouse?”. Perhaps this is what the director wanted you to feel and think after watching the movie. I just wish it ended with all the super pigs begin set free.
Lastly, I would highly recommend that you check out the film and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, then I think you will love Food Choices – Examining the World’s Diet.