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Jonathan Tam
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Okja is directed by south korean director, Bong Joon-ho, and tells the story about superpigs that have been raised in order to solve world hunger. But, on a much deeper level, it exposes the selfish agendas that we have come to pursue over the lack of appreciating animal life. Okja centers around the Mirando corporation who have made these superpigs as well as the corporation’s ongoing conflict with the Animal Liberation Front. In some ways, while it would seem like the Animal Liberation Front would be in support of saving the superpigs, they are willing to let some pigs be slaughtered in order for the public to see images of the Mirando corporation’s evil actions. All the while, other characters (including the grandfather) have their own motives for gold and wealth. But, it’s only Mija, who has the truest intentions to save her friend and superpig, Okja, from everyone else. She pursues Okja through cities, across countries and even through Okja’s memory loss simply to have her friend back in the end - in pursuit of the most selfless agenda in the end, love and friendship.

I found Okja incredibly entertaining, delightfully eclectic, and a perfect film to bring into the classroom. Okja has moments of whimsicality, but also some beautifully created shots and an incredibly powerful message about how our food industry and our media industry have dangerously evolved to merciless agendas that will be pursued at any cost. Okja is a great platform to bring into any classroom as this is an issue that is faced by the world today. While the presence of superpigs would solve world hunger, at what cost are we willing to create life only with the intention of profiting from it, obsessing over it, and glorifying it?

I give Okja, an 8/10.

Midori Sanchez
Topic replies: 48
Topic Posts: 5
Okja Review

Okja is a film that gives a glimpse of a possible future and begs the question: How do we end world hunger? On a daily basis, students make decisions on a variety of things from what clothes to wear to what social media network to sign into; they may not be aware that young adults have power and vote with their choices/money. However, these “votes” have an impact on the present and the future of what we consume and how we consume it.


A quick homework assignment that students could do is create a food log of what they eat and a reflection of their experiences, interactions, and locations of eating. A book to use in conjunction with this assignment and this movie would be “Fast Food Nation” (either in its entirety in a literature circle, or selected chapters) which discusses the history of fast food from the development of highways and advertising. It would allow students to have exposure to non-fiction text with references to well known joints such as Carl’s Jr. and McDonald’s. The movie would be watched after finishing the book to be used for discussion: What A summative assignment that I would have students complete is a “Menu Brochure Research Project”; this would consist of students creating a brochure of locations to visit in Southern California for a trio of foreign exchange students (one is gluten sensitive, one is a vegetarian, and one has no food restrictions. One could also be specific about the ethnicities of the foreign exchange students to take in consideration food restrictions due to cultural or religious reasons.) Students would work on a research project (shorter writer piece rather than an essay), practicing MLA format for citing sources, be able to think about the culture we have in Southern California, and also work on social skills being inclusive of peers.


Moreover, in addition to its relatability to the issues that are looming in our own society, this movie has an ability to tug at your heartstrings. I have grown up having dogs and the love that Mija has for her pet and dear friend Okja is a bond that I recognize with my own dog, Kirin, that students (whether or not they may have a pet) may also relate to as well. However, there are some disturbing scenes in the movie i.e. sampling the "goods" that I would screen the movie to be sure of what clips I would most likely refrain from showing to students. The movie did end on a hopeful note though to not dampen your spirits for the second half of the film too much.


I would rate this 10/10