Friday, September 10, 2010

Japaness Movie Showcase at OKTO

OKTO channel is running a series of Japaness award winning movies on Sunday at 10pm. It kicked off with a movie title In School with a Pig or something to that effect last week. (pardon my memory)

Interesting movie with a simple storey line. The form teacher of 6 graders came out with this idea of teaching his class about life. He suggested to rear a pig and eating it before they graduate from school. The class was receptive and he got permission from the school principal for the project. The Vice Head was opposed to the idea as pig rearing involved lots of work. What about a chicken ? But this guy insisted on a pig or nothing else as lesson in life must be challenging.

As expected, the children grew to love the pig and it became the class pet. The first hint of trouble to come was when they gave it a name : P-Chan. Some of them braved a stormy night to return to school to ensure the pig was ok. They ate less during meal time so that there would be more left over food which they saved for their pig.

The 1st half of the movie was pretty humorous with parents getting upset that their child returning home smelling of pig shits. Ok they clean up the holding pen, feed it...doing everything and more ...including knitting a scarve to keep it warm and decorating its pen during Christmas.

The 2nd half of the movie is pretty thought provoking. The class changed their mind and did not want the pig kill. So there were many heated class debated what to do with it as they would be leaving the school after graduation. The debate got more emotional as days went by with students crying and furry fights due to disagreement. They voted on a few occassions but session ended with half the class for and the other against.

The arguments they came out with are time enduring and there is no right nor wrong answer to them. Examples :

We need food for survival, so eating meat is ok.
P-Chan is not any pig, it is a pet, how could we eat it - it is just not right.
It is not responsible to leave P-Chan in the school as we are not here to look after it after graduating.
We should look after P-Chan till end of its life.
It had a good life for the year, it would be killed and eaten anyway by now, if it is not kept by our class.

The tilt of the vote balance rested with the teacher who casted the last vote and the class accepted the decision. In the end, P-Chan was sent to the meat center though the students did not eat it. A teary farewell with each student giving the pig its favourite food - tomato.

It is truly an education journey for the kids - life full of tough decision to make some of which can be rather cruel.

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