Director: Tetsu Maeda
Cast: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mieko Harada, Tomoko
Tabata, Ren Osugi, Yumi Shimizu, Miu Naraki
RunTime: 1 hr 49 mins
Released By: InnoForm Media & Cathay-Keris
Official Website: http://www.butaita.jp
Opening Day: 9 April 2009
Based on a true story, this film is an emotional masterpiece
based on a true controversial story that swept across Japan.
rookie primary school teacher (Satoshi Tsumabuki) suggests
his students that they raise a pig, as a way to teach “the
real connection between life and food.” He further proposes
to eat the pig when it is fully grown. The deadline will be
their graduation. The class gets a piglet together, and decides
to take care of it in rotation. The students decide to name
the piglet “P-chan”. Hesitant to take care of
the P-chan at first, it wasn’t long before the students
begin to cherish it.
time passes, the rookie teacher starts facing displeasures
from his colleagues and the parents of his students. The children
themselves begin to quarrel over the P-chan. However teacher
and students manage to overcome the problems and learn a lot
from this experience. As things have started to work in a
positive way, the class has to face an even bigger dilemma
a year later. 365 days of love and devotion showered on P-chan,
it has grown big. The deadline of the project is drawing near.
They have to decide the fate of P-chan. Will they follow the
initial objective of this project or…
"School Days with a Pig" is one of those contemplative
and poignant films that should be heavily marketed at Students,
Teachers and Parents. This is one movie that invites discussion
and pondering about simple things in life that we take for
granted. (But please kindly do it after the movie had ended!).
the synopsis pointed out, it’s based upon a true life
incident about a young school teacher asking his primary school
students to raise a pig during their final graduation year.
The simple plan was to teach them 'the real connection between
life and food' and eventually eating the pig at the end of
the graduation year.
a simple plan with good intention but just like the road to
hell is paved with good intention, the young school teacher
soon found that instead of teaching the kids a lesson, he
himself had learn a difficult profound lesson in life. It
felt like he had open the Pandora’s Box and created
a lot of unnecessary grief to all those who are directly (the
kids and him) and indirectly involved (the parents, the other
teachers and even the principal). But like the tale of the
Pandora’s Box, it also offered hope in the end and those
who are involved would have gain a richer perspective in life.
It might have been a very difficult lesson to teach and learn
but if more children had gone through similar lesson and learn
to consider about the multiple factors before making a decision
on the fate of another life, the world would be a much peaceful
place to live in.
teacher’s unorthodox choice of teaching his kids a lesson
in life is another good issue for teachers to ponder upon.
While it’s likely that the teacher would not be able
to repeat such project with his next batch of kids, it’s
good to consider about his intention in educating the next
generation on matters beyond the classroom syllabus. It might
be extra work but it could be an enriching experience to both
the children and teachers that money could never buy.
children in this movie are also a surprise factor in this
movie. Granted that their dialogues might have been scripted
but it does make one wonder about the range of reasoning that
a primary school kid is capable after immersing oneself to
the project. It seeks to debunk the incorrect old adage that
'a child should be seen and not heard' by letting the children
speak their minds about this unique project.
and watching these cutesy children pour out their thoughts
and emotions about the fate of the pig were not only enlightening
to absorb, it was also heart wrenching to watch. On one hand,
it felt too cruel to put them through such difficult choice
about life in their formative years but on the other hand,
one also realize that they would have gone through a very
meaningful experience in life that few would ever experience
in their life.
this movie isn’t without it’s flaws. The character
and events development in this movie was incredibly fluffy.
It never really went in depth about the young teacher or what
made him decide to carry this project with the kids. The attention
spent on focusing the kids’ relationship with the pig
was rather uneventful and was done in an overly cutesy joyful
manner that seemly fast forwarded all the difficulties in
raising a pet. Some of the issues that the kids brought up
felt repetitive and in some ways, it felt like the movie is
running in circle before coming to a conclusion.
are some of the minor faults of an otherwise perfect movie
to educate both the children and their caretakers about the
value of life. It’s contemplative and although it does
points out certain views, it also left some banks for the
viewers to fill in. It’s also an inspiring piece of
work for those who are involved with educating the next generation.
Last but not least, the kids in this movie will be tugging
your hearts strings with their adorableness and their viewpoint
in this project. "School Days with a Pig" should
not be missed.
(Cutesy, Thought Provoking, Emotionally Moving and
Educational Beyond the Classrooms… Highly Recommended
for all Students, Teachers and Parents)
Review by Richard Lim Jr