|MOVIE DETAILS |
• Name: Piggy (aka Cerdita)
• Year: 2022
• Country: Spain, France
• Director: Carlota Pereda
• Main cast: Laura Galán, Richard Holmes, Carmen Machi, Pilar Castro
• Runtime: 90 minutes
• Production company: Morena Films, Backup Studio, Indéfilms, Cerdita
Since its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Spanish and French co-production Piggy (2022), also known as Cerdita in the original Spanish language, gained notoriety among the goers of film festivals. Achieving several nominations, and dealing with a subject of big controversy and, sadly, very much in vogue as is teenage bullying and body shaming, the movie fast became one of the must-sees in the international film festivals circuit. That is a double-edged sword because as bullying is a very serious matter and needs to be exposed to the public the movie had the risk of being considered a “fat chick movie”, a film of which potential resides only in the social denounce of this atrocious attacks to the people with bodies outside the normative. But, luckily for all of us, this is not the case and there is a bigger story behind it.
The movie is set in a very well depicted middle-low class Spanish little town. The sets are real and the everyday lives of the inhabitants are painfully close to what we see on the screen, as is a typical Spanish summer. And there we find Sara, a teenage girl with overweight, the older offspring of the town butchers, who is constantly abused by her peers of age and left aside by her own family. Her life is miserable, only taking shelter in her little room or under her headphones listening to Spanish indie rock. For Sara, who is called “piggy” and “cow” non-stop every time she leaves her home, every day is a torment. And the strength of the images and the physical and verbal abuse is so constant and explicit that we, the audience, can easily get in Sara’s bones; for a few minutes, we suffer what she suffers all the time. It seems so real that it doesn’t feel like fiction. Until, one day, a mysterious man arrives in town and some shit happens. Then the film takes a twist, an even more horrifying one.
The writer and director Carlota Pereda, being this her stand-alone debut feature, knows very well what she is doing in every sequence of the film. Every frame is well calculated, some takes and angles are pretty original, and she is aware that the camera is a weapon that she knows how to utilize. The story doesn’t bring many surprises but is solid. And the performances from the actors are effective.
To outstand the work of the main star of the film, Laura Galán, playing Sara. She is well familiar with the role, since Piggy (2022) is the long-length version of the short film Cerdita (2018), winner of a bunch of awards including the Goya for Best Short Film, and also written and directed by Carlota Pereda and starring Laura Galán. And with the character and the story well interiorized, the director and the star build easily chemistry and a feeling of trust and comfort almost essential to create a so intense display in the physical and emotional aspects as this movie is.
The director Carlota Pereda stated that she “wrote Piggy (2022) to confront my own fears. Real life fears. Because being a teen can be terrifying”. This world sucks on a social level, and we have turned a period like being a teenager into perhaps the most horrifying one in our entire life instead of being a phase of exciting learning and discovering as it should be. We create big monsters inside of us that will accompany us through the rest of our lives. And although perhaps this movie is too explicit at some parts, in a way that it is painful because we know those things really happen, we can’t keep them hidden because they will still be there, they will mark us all forever, both the victims, the abusers, and the ones who pretended nothing was happening when we had those atrocities happening in front of our eyes.
Piggy (2022) is a good movie. It has its side of social denounce by depicting events that no one should tolerate against people who are a victim of their own bodies, there is nothing more unfair than that, but then also takes the victim and the executioners into an unexpected horror spiral when a new protagonist enters in the scene. A horror and thriller drama that entertains and makes you consider what are we doing in our personal and family relations. A movie that is a must-see in the genre film festivals circuit but I have serious doubts that it can find its place for the bigger audience distribution. Still, if you have the chance to watch it, go for it.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10399608