Okja is a 2017 South Korean and American action-adventure film about a girl who raises a genetically modified superpig.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho, the film stars an ensemble cast headed by South Korean child actress Ahn Seo-hyun, with Byun Hee-bong, Yoon Je-moon, and Choi Woo-shik.
Also Hollywood actors Tilda Swinton (in a dual role), Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Devon Bostick, Giancarlo Esposito, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
The film competed for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. It was released on Netflix on June 28, 2017.
This is a satirical film about the food industry, capitalism and vegetarianism. While some may claim it as having an agenda, it manages to balance all the advocates in the film out. Mainly by making them do stupid things and act like stereotypes.
My interpretation would be that it is about our relationship to animals. The Okja character is a large cute animal about the size of a hippopotamus or large cow. While it has been read as a food source, an early scene establishes that it has intelligence. More importantly, it has many characteristics of a dog, especially in behavior and the way it moves.
We don’t eat Dogs.
We do eat Cows.
So what is Okja ?
Clearly the girl who raised it sees Okja as a pet, but the Industry that created it by genetic modification sees it as just a dumb animal.