School Days with a Pig

2008

Comedy / Drama

139
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 252

Synopsis


Downloaded times
November 12, 2020

Director

Cast

Satoshi Tsumabuki as Mr. Hoshi
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1006.11 MB
1280*720
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
109 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.82 GB
1920×1080
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
109 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ethSin 5 / 10 / 10

A Lesson Untaught

This film is based on a made-for-TV documentary film of a teacher in Osaka teaching the "lesson of life" to students by raising a pig in their school, with eating it upon graduation as a condition. It may sound a little cruel, but I liked the concept. We take our food for granted, often ignoring the fact that they are living beings just like us. As you would expect, the students become emotionally attached by the end of the film, and the class is divided between eating it and passing it down to a class in the 3rd grade. The debates this teacher allowed the students to have was interesting, and I think it was very educational, making us (and the kids) think about the value of life and appreciation for our food. Although a teacher telling mere elementary school kids to raise a pig is a bit absurd, the story development was very realistic. The kids faced various challenges, and parents made many complaints you would expect from real life. I guess if they developed the teacher's character and motive a little better, it wouldn't have seemed to be so far-fetched since it is based on a real story. What really disappointed me though, was how this film ended. The result of the student vote (which should be vetoed anyway in favor of the teacher's opinion, according to the principal in the film) was a tie, and the teacher cast the last vote to send the pig to the slaughterhouse. We probably have all seen this coming, it's just the responsible thing to do, to see through it to the end and fulfill the promise of eating the pig. That it's important to truly appreciate the sacrificed so that we can live on. However, what really disturbed me was the teacher's reason for the decision, that "they've done enough already"? Wasn't the whole point of this whole lesson to teach them and make them think about the value of life? I wanted to hear the teacher explain WHY he chose that option as a mentor. Perhaps because "it is the nurturer's responsibility to see your livestock's life to the end", "this pig is no different from any other pig we eat everyday", or "by eating it, it becomes a part of you". These are the words I wanted to hear from the teacher as the lesson taught from this whole thing, not from the students during the debate (and it's doubtful elementary school kids could've come up with these concepts by themselves). I feel the teacher wanted the kids to learn that "one living thing eating another living being to survive is a cruel fact of life, and we should appreciate what we take for granted" when he brought the pig to school. What I really wanted to see, was students AND the teacher actually eating the cooked pork in TEARS in the end. Truly appreciating its sacrifice and learning the value of life. Only then, this 'lesson' comes to a conclusion. As a movie, it would've been a very touching ending as well. Tsumabuki Satoshi, in my opinion, is a very talented actor who would've played such scene very well, as demonstrated in beautiful everyday life of the teacher and the kids. It's a shame this film ended the way it did. This is based on a real-life event, so I understand the director's desire to stay true to the original events. However, since there is already a documentary made for it, this movie must add something more to the story than the documentary. I hear this kind of "let the kids think and decide the best solution" education is a new trend in Japan. I agree it can be very useful to think about such difficult issues at a very young age, but it is an adult's, especially a teacher's DUTY to guide them toward the "correct", or socially responsible path after they've thought about it. I was going to give this movie a disastrous 2/10 rating, but as I was writing this review, it made me realize that this film had served its purpose by making me think about the real "lesson of life".

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 8 / 10 / 10

A Nutshell Review: School Days With A Pig

Our nature is such that we care most for the people we are related to, and know on a personal level. Otherwise, it's likely everything else is just a number, a statistic, something that feels so distant that it's genuinely difficult for us to sympathize, or emphatize beyond a cursory statement that explains how we should feel as decent human beings. In increasing levels of concern when a tragedy occurs, if something strikes overseas, it's unfortunate. If it's local then it's lucky it didn't affect someone we know. If it does and it's not family, we offer our condolences. If someone we know becomes collateral damage, we suffer inconsolable rage even. School Days with a Pig plays along this line where teacher Mr Hoshi (Satoshi Tsumabuki) decides to give his class a head start in life, where Man sits on the top of the food chain, and everything below is fair game when it comes to filling up the stomach. He also attempts to teach the children that in our living comes the sacrifice of other living beings just because they are expendable in the natural order of things, but that doesn't mean not acknowledging creatures like chickens, cows and pigs. Given his unorthodox methods, it was also explained why specifically a pig and not the other animals, so that may appease those who jump the gun too quickly in say this reeks of Babe. The film reminded me of an anecdote which is from another movie (whose title eludes me now), where a teacher had asked his students to draw a chicken, and he received pictures of burgers, patties and basically animal parts like thighs, breasts and wings. It's come to a stage where our food supply chain is so modernized and processed, that children no longer recognize or need to know the source of their food. We also don't see how the animals get chopped and slaughtered behind the scenes, and I suppose many more would turn vegetarian should we witness how it comes through the assembly line. In any case, this story on the surface is about the raising of a piglet by the teacher and his students from the 6th grade, where their objective from the start is to nourish it, and then to eat it. Directed by Tetsu Maeda based upon the novel by Yasushi Kuroda, it comes with plenty of excitable kids who are now given their first collective pet, and take great pains in order to ensure that their teacher's plan works to a T. From working together to build a play pen for the pig, to the diligent gathering of leftover food as meals for their pet, they learn the value of teamwork, where everyone chips in a little for the good of everyone else. Then comes the more interesting portions of the film, in between the usual bonding scenes with the pig through fun and games. We have at least two extended debating scenes where Mr Hoshi moderates discussions amongst his charges, separated into those who still insist their project should end with the consuming of P-Chan (christening any pet is a bad idea for those with intent of abandonment and the likes), or to allow a change in letting it continue living in the school grounds as a pet. It is here that the viewpoints get accentuated through the different personalities in the classroom, where everyone is given fair opportunity to make their point heard. It's like observing a political debate in progress, where both sides are equally passionate about their viewpoints, and sometimes allowed emotions to run high, which allowed for some play-acting by the children that I couldn't fathom whether it was all staged, but coming from within for real. And that wouldn't be difficult too, given that they had indeed spent some real time with the pig in order to draw upon some real emotions as to whether they wanted it to live, or to end up on their dinner plates. And as they inched toward graduation, their decision, which is still much split, becomes more dire with an impending sense of urgency to resolve. The piglet might be the gimmick in School Days with a Pig, but the real stars of the show are the children in their natural ability to showcase their range of emotions. It's little wonder why this film won the Toyota Grand Prix Jury Award, and the Audience Award in last year's Tokyo International Film Festival!

Reviewed by ken1848 8 / 10 / 10

Move Thee Reviews: The Class (Entre les murs) with a Pig

Based on a true story, "School Days with a Pig" is a moving, realistic and educational Japanese movie requiring the audience to ponder on the cycle of life and reflect on whether humans have the right to end other animals' lives. The most special scenes are the 5-minute and 15-minute real-time, documentary-like and thought-provoking classroom debates in which students spontaneously discuss if they should eat the pig. While shooting the two scenes, seven cameras operated at the same time. Besides, the debating scenes were not rehearsed. Only given partial scripts without lines assigned to them, students had to discuss the issue with their own arguments, which makes the movie authentic and distinguishable from other typical animal movies. The debating scenes shot in a documentary-like style also remind me of The Class, a French movie with non-scripted classroom discussions. Apart from eleven lovely pigs, the movie stars twenty-six pleasing children whose natural acting deeply moves me to tears. Tsumabuki Satoshi, who plays an inexperienced new teacher, gives a convincing performance. He really resembles a new teacher intending to establish close relationships with his students. As an authoritative figure, he also refrains from crying in the ending. The first thing slightly puzzling me is that, in the movie, nearly all students actively participate in the discussions. I wonder if Japanese primary school students are generally passive and unwilling to voice their thoughts. Secondly, some people may complain that the reason for the teacher's decision in the ending is unclear and he should explain the reasons to his students. In my opinion, the director intends to highlight the teachers' words. In reality, model answers to moral questions are not always available and it is hard to view an issue in black and white. Indeed, both option A and B have their own pros and cons and therefore he probably plays safe and opts for a less risky solution. On the whole, the movie reminds teachers that students should be encouraged to acquire and apply knowledge through real life experiences. They should also be exposed to different controversial issues and learn to express their own thoughts and feelings. I highly recommend this authentic and touching movie to teachers, parents and students.

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