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Okja

(Korea, subtitled, with some parts in English): Mija, a young girl living with her grandfather in Korea, has been raising a gigantic pig, Okja. The pig is one of 26 “non-genetically modified” super pigs that were spread around the world to be raised by a very bizarre corporation out to create the best sausages by pigs that grown very large and poop economically – all under the guise of being environmentally friendly. Okja has been designated as the prize pig, and Mija finds herself in the intersection between corporate and animal rights activists. The film is a rather interesting collection of crazy characters, fairy tale, and social commentary on corporate greed that all comes together surprisingly well. I enjoyed the first half of the movie more when Mja and Okja are in Korea; the cinematography is beautiful, and it is much fun watching Okja play around like a dog and swim like a sea creature. Some of the characters are really crazy. Paul Dano plays a very level-headed leader of the Animal Liberation Front who sometimes values purpose over people. Jake Gyllenhaal is a wacky and creepy washed-up zoologist who is the front person for Mirando Corporation, and Tilda Swinton is good (as she always is) as the greedy head of the corporation. I really liked the film, and it would work well for anyone of any age who can read the subtitles. Even kids who can’t read the text might really enjoy watching the first part of the movie for its playfulness. It is an interesting film from Bong Joon-Ho and shows the expansiveness of his creativity. (2017; 4 Stars)

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