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Okja- More Than Just a “Super-Pig”

Many of us are flawed in that we are ignorant of the harsh realities of our capitalist society. Okja was released to Netflix in June, and appears to be another unusual Netflix original movie — however, the deeper meaning behind it is a noteworthy look into current problems.  

Picture this—it’s a Saturday night and you feel like having a night in to watch movies and relax. You’re scrolling through all of the many movies and shows you’ve seen on Netflix, as well as the hit or miss Netflix originals. You come across an unusual cover photo of a pig-type thing for a movie called Okja.

What does that even mean? you think to yourself as you continue to scroll through the endless options.

At least that’s how it went for me.

Little did I know that it would turn out to be one of my favorite Netflix Original Movies released once I gave it a try.

A Korean writer and director named Joon-Ho Bong directed Okja. One of his trademarks is to create politically and socially conscious films, which is what Okja achieves when looking at the meat industry and capitalist society in America. Quick synopsis of the movie: A genetically engineered “super pig” that is bred to fulfill mass production’s necessity to feed billions of people at the lowest cost. The film depicts a lovable “super-pig” raised in South Korea by a young girl as her best friend. The pig is to be taken by the meat corporation in power to be tested on and ultimately slaughtered. The depictions in the film of animal labs and factories are meant to parallel that of what actually exists. Bong told BBC News that he wanted those watching to “witness and understand” the harsh realities of mass production, as he had previously visited a slaughterhouse. 

The creatures depicted in the movie are not real, but represent the strong presence of genetically modified foods. We all consume these foods without hesitation as a part of our culture; however, we know little about the future effects it may have on our health or environment. GMO’s may have unforeseen consequences, but animal farming has already manifested itself to be harmful to our environment, and often inhumane.

Joon-Ho Bong did an excellent job of creating a semi-futuristic film that resonates with audiences. I strongly recommend watching the Netflix original Okja, not only for the sad realities hidden within the story line but also for the sake of a well-done film–not to mention the “super pigs” are really cute. 

Notorious foodie and optimist, hoping to cook for a living and experience a vast cultural variety. Business student, Netflix ethusiast, and avid day dreamer, just trying to make it through college and fulfill my potential. 
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