Okja: Is Bong Joon-ho brainwashing us into becoming vegan?

Have you ever thought about what the future holds for us? Many see the future as being treacherous with Donald Trump being in power and a large number of people are thought to die at the age of 65 if they continue to be obese but what about the supplies? Okja is about a super-pig which has been developed and modified by the Mirando Foundation and is being brought up in the mountains of Seoul, South Korea by a young girl called Mija. Okja and Mija have a bond which most would see as unbreakable until CEO Lucy Mirando takes back her prize pig to show off to the world. Mija then becomes involved with a disparate group of capitalists, demonstrators and consumers, each battling to control the fate of Okja.

Super-pigs that are just an inch smaller than your average elephant is definitely something that takes a wild imagination to come up with. Nevertheless, Okja shows the harsh reality that is happening in the world today with links to animal cruelty and torture. We don’t know what the future holds for us but this isn’t far off from what it could become. As crazy and delirious as it sounds, Okja is the next step in making the public think differently about what they eat today.

Tilda Swinton (Lucy Mirando) plays her character with such sophistication and sassiness. She made it so believable, becoming the horrible, disgusting business woman that doesn’t give a care in the world about what happens to an oversized pig. All she cares about is the money that will be flowing into her bank account. Seo-Hyen Ahn (Mija) makes an outstanding performance, her love for Okja is all that you will believe in. Jake Gyllenhaal (Johnny Wilcox) is definitely out of his comfort zone with this character but pulls it off so well. His comedic timings and drunken persona make him so much more disgusting, a character which you hate with a passion every time he appears on the screen.

Using highly developed CGI techniques and millions of dollars from Netflix, Bong Joon-Ho has made the world fall in love with a super-pig. Okja is destined to go to the slaughterhouse to become the next family meal. However, following her journey, you become an activist yourself, the whole audience watching Okja on their sofas become one large family of activists. I fell right into that category, I struggled to sit in my comfy leather reclining sofa as the super-pig was being forced to mate with a much larger and stronger pig. Even though I knew this was a fictional character, you can’t help relate it to what is happening in today’s society.

Am I going to become vegan because of this film? No, but am I going to think differently about what I am eating, yes definitely. Most people don’t look into where their meat has come from or how the animals have been treated before buying them off the shelves of their local supermarkets. I’m still very much a meat-eater but this film has changed my views and perspective. Okja is a film of directing perfection, with a dark hint of truthful reality.


2 thoughts on “Okja: Is Bong Joon-ho brainwashing us into becoming vegan?

  1. I recently came across this on Netflix and ended up watching the trailer. I really caught my eye (well, to be honest, everything with Tilda Swinton catches my eye). It’s an interesting topics, something that is often only addressed in documentaries, so it’s refreshing to see a movie like this. I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan, nor do I think I will ever be, but that doesn’t mean that a movie like this can’t be eye opening in some way. Like you said, it can change someone’s perspective. Great review!
    Would you be interested in sharing your work on Movie Pilot? I’d like to invite you to join the platform, and I’d love to hear from you so I can to expand on that. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail, my contact details are on my “About” page. Hopefully talk soon!


  2. Thanks for the review of Okja. I just watched the film yesterday and I thought the characters are a bit weak and exaggerated, but it’s a very touching story as well as an important topic that hasn’t been tackled very often so far.
    What I always find a bit strange is how people seem to react. They acknowledge that there’s something profoundly wrong about our behaviour, but no one wants to change their habit, it seems. Of course, people then say they wouldn’t eat meat for the following days, but in the end we come back to our old habits like drug addicts.
    So in my opinion we need to prepare our children for being able to change their habits more easily, because our generation(s) kind of suck when it comes to that. 😉
    In other words: Next generations should be able to think more critically and they should have a strong enough will to actually change their habits, too. Because our behaviour is not only killing our planet in a mid-term, but also making other people or animals suffer a great big deal.
    So when I realised I have the power to change my behaviour more and more easily and thus change the world for the better, it was kind of liberating to see that I have more control over myself ever since. So I also stopped buying lots of clothes and chose to only buy fair fashion or second hand anymore. I also started spending more money for charity, avoiding travelling too far and by airplane, becoming more politically active, re- or upcycle much more – and also ditching animal products for good.
    And you know what? I feel good like that and after some weeks/months you don’t even miss a thing anymore. 🙂 We can adapt to new situations and habits quite easily after some time has passed (in the beginning it’s always difficult, however ;-)).
    I hope this movie makes people reflecting about their way of living and makes them brave a enough to tackle those habits that are clearly linked to huge problems of this world…


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