Panorama | Gateway | Special Presentations
This will likely be your only chance to see this superlative dystopian satire from Snowpiercer director Bong Joon Ho on the big screen—in the presence of the filmmaker, no less—and should not be missed. The eponymous Okja is a genetically modified pig the size of a hippo, organically (and lovingly) reared by an elderly Korean peasant farmer and his granddaughter, Mija (An Seo Hyun). Now the project’s parent company wants to show off its prize specimen and launch its latest food product, but animal-rights activists mean to disrupt the show and save Okja from the slaughterhouse.
Bong Joon Ho has been a staple of VIFF’s programming for years. We’ve showcased almost all of his work, including the masterly Memories of Murder, Mother, The Host, and, of course, Snowpiercer. Here Bong’s idiosyncratic imagination and gift for suspense meets the anarchic, acerbic wit of writer Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats). Filmed, in part, in British Columbia, this is a big, broad, propulsive movie, positively Spielbergian in its mixture of CGI spectacle, sentiment and action. You’ll love the loyal Okja and loathe Tilda Swinton in a double role as the Mirando twins, the unacceptable Janus face of 21st-century capitalism. Then there’s Jake Gyllenhaal acting his socks off as a peculiarly ripe media personality…Pig out!