A daring, disturbing and violent animated film about bullying, social status and class difference, The King of Pigs marks a brave new direction for Korean animation. Kyung-min, a virtually bankrupt businessman, and journalist Jong-suk were once classmates in middle school.
They reunite 15 years later and talk about their school days, in which the rich and powerful students were called ‘dogs’ and the poor ones ‘pigs’. This clear social distinction created an atmosphere that allowed for the the privileged to abuse the less fortunate. The hierarchies and systematic humiliations are questioned by no one, and condoned by the school’s teachers – at least until the arrival of Chul, who takes on the dogs with clarity of purpose and brutality not seen before in the school.
He becomes Kyung-min and Jong-suk’s hero, fighting their battles and toughening them up. But the relationship between the hero and his followers is a complex one, and the film gradually reveals the lingering effects of a childhood marred by inhumanity. The darkness of the story is matched by stark and brutal imagery, making The King of Pigs a truly visionary and uncompromising work of art.