“As Leo Tolstoy said in his oft-quoted opening lines of Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Most families don’t spend much time wondering if they’re happy or not, and most children assume that they are growing up in a typical family until their worldview expands to include more possibilities.”
“Detroit is a well-made film by a gifted director with a talented cast that recounts the 1967 race riots of the titular city, with a prolonged real-time recreation of an encounter between Detroit police and the residents of the Algiers Motel. The firing of a starter’s pistol into the street provoked a raid and a long night of intimidation and brutality between the cops and a group of young black men and two white women who were unfortunately in the wrong place at a bad time.”
Okja, one of the most original films of 2017, can only be viewed on Netflix’s streaming service.
Okja takes place is a not-so-distant future in which a multinational corporation is conducting genetic experiments to produce a “superpig” that will produce massive quantities of delicious meat while ostensibly being more environmentally conscious.
Okja is the name of the pig that is being raised in South Korea. Most everybody would agree that you should never name an animal that you plan to eat later, but consuming Okja is the last thing on the mind of Mija (Seo-hyn), who considers her to not only be a playmate, but more like a best friend. When Okja is taken away and shipped to New York, it is up to Mija to rescue her beloved buddy.
There seems to be no end to dystopian dramas these days, so it’s nice to find one as humane and generous in spirit as Okja. The film’s conclusion is not overly optimistic, but it leaves us hopeful that as long as love exists there will always be something worth fighting for.