The King of Pigs/Dwae-ji-ui wang (2011)
I always enjoy Asian animation, ever since I started watching the work of Studio Ghibli, so the jump to South Korean animation with The King of Pigs (2011) was worth it. A powerful and graphic portrayal of bullying at high school. A subject that easily translates to any foreign audience around the world.
To give the audience a route into the subject matter, we have a series of flashbacks to a term in the school days of two men Jong-suk and Kyung-min who meet one night, the first time in years as we later find out. Chatting about the old days, something neither look upon with happiness as we find out in the brutal flashbacks to their time in a class ruled by boys who are mostly likely prefects, who use their position to abuse those who are seen as weaker, all away from the teacher who is almost blind to everything.
I’ve never seen bullying on that violent level but can still relate, suffering myself for years from verbal bullying, which can eat away at you, leaving you defenceless at times, unable to fight back. Unlike these two boys when they befriend Kim Chul who will fightback against the boys who they call the dogs who tear into those who don’t quite reach their social tier. Using violence which always lands him in trouble. Believing that in order to defeat evil you must become more evil than them. A belief system he has created coming from a broken home, a mother who he hardly sees and a father who left them years ago. The two boys find strength in Chul who is channelling his anger into the hate he sees in the classroom.
It’s never easy to watch, even in the present day, we find two broken men, whose lives have not turned out how they planned them. Kyung-min’s business has gone bankrupt and has taken out his anger on his wife, whilst Jong-suk is a ghost writer who is struggling with the material he is given to work with. The childhood has had a detrimental effect on them both as we later find out. Making a pact to raise awareness to the dogs who have bullied them, hoping to curse them, instead a long seeded curse has taken route in the two men.
The King of Pigs raises our awareness for how bullying can affect us in later life, even after we grow up and realise its part of our past, it can damager us psychologically, unable to have proper relationships and function properly. The bullies drift away ans hopefully grown up, or fall into the life the victims hope they created for themselves and deserve. I feel I can forgive a few who gave me grief for years, when your younger it can be hard to survive socially. You have to realise that those who bully have their own problems, who lash out at others making them feel weaker, which is never acceptable but still happens, even growing into domestic violence in later life. Pigs goes some way to showing the effects, in the extreme to how bullying can affect us.