Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t soft-pedaling the potential importance of Netflix’s Okja. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s latest is an action flick about the resolve of a young girl to save her beloved super pig from the hands of a greedy corporation eager to turn said pig into bacon. The film is drawing controversy and even boos at Cannes after its nomination for the Palm d’Or, which critics say violates the spirit of the festival.
After the press screening of the creature feature, Jake Gyllenhaal–who plays a self-serving, larger-than-life TV zoologist in the film–said that the film’s untraditional distribution shouldn’t be counted against it.
“I would like to [say], that the platform of the film, how far it can reach, how many people it can get to is extraordinarily important,” he said. “I think it’s truly a blessing when any art gets to reach one person, let alone hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Particularly in today’s age when we are inundated with information, sometimes true, sometimes not, [it’s important] that we get artistic expression in any form that we can.”
Gyllenhaal said that the film’s environmental themes are more vital than ever.
“I think the film is grappling with the age-old question of capitalism and our love for natural resources and the environment,” Gyllenhaal said. “I would say also that the question of timing is very important with all the threats to the environment, particularly now. I don’t think there is any better time for this film and what it says about the environment than now, given the current political state of so many things – particularly in my country, of things being brought back what I would consider a few decades if not more. So sometimes it’s not an issue of just theme, it’s an issue of when a movie comes out and what it has to say and I think there is no better time than now.”
Out of nowhere, just to cap things off, Gyllenhaal shared his feelings about the current administration: “And I’m also very excited about the appointment of Robert Mueller.”