Piggy is the feature adaptation from the short film of the same name by filmmaker Carlota Pereda. A young woman is bullied by other girls at school, more specifically she is fat shamed. Like everyone else her age she’s also dealing with her teenage emotions and trying to find her place in this cruel world.
One particular Summer afternoon three girls (including her former best friend) nearly drown her in the neighborhood pool and leave her without clothes or a towel. She’s forced to walk home in the hot sun nearly naked. You truly feel for Sara and just want her to get home and be okay but are accosted by a car full of boys that continue to bully and torment her as she cries for help.
After the incidents she walks past a white van where she sees the bloodied face of her best friend who is begging her to help. She’s frozen. The front door opens and a towel is set on the ground by a man. He drives off and she takes the towel. For once she feels someone has seen her as a human.
This is the opening 20 minutes of the film.
The clock is ticking. We know her peers are being held captive by some man and only Sara can help them. It’s a dilemma and one that she has to continue to wrestle with through most of the film as the town begins to panic after discovering a dead body at the pool.
For Sara, who also has to reckon with a family dynamic that is also trying, it’s a lot for her to digest. She disappears into her room with her headphones and a secret cache of snacks. She decides to say nothing about what she witnessed.
Soon, the man comes to find her. Offering her one of her favorite snack cakes. She begins to fantasize about this deranged man who seems to show her even the smallest bit of affection. It’s something even if she questions her own rationale.
Set under the beating hot sun in a small town in Spain, PIGGY, ignites the conversation of the effects of bullying inside of a serial killer terrorizing a town.
Led by an unbelievable starring performance by Laura Galán and beautifully photographed by Rita Noriega, the film is bruising and relentless with it’s pacing. So many films at the festival have lost the ‘horrors’ in their films but this one never forgets. It’s not just the horrors of this small town that allows for this kind of bullying to take place but the gruesomeness of the serial killer.
Piggy gets under your flesh and stays there. A movie that forces conversation but never feels safe while bringing up it’s commentary.