When you’re growing up, there are few things worse than catching the eye of the local bullies. It’s largely for this reason that most children try and fit in at school. Keep their heads down and merge into the crowd. Any differences are leapt upon and once they have you in their sights they’ll never let up. Anybody who is a bit different, especially in terms of a physical attribute, is liable to get their attention. This is the catalyst behind events in Piggy.
Sara (Laura Galán) leads an unhappy life in a rural Spanish town. She lives with her parents and is forced to help them out in their butcher’s shop, while completing her studies. She is overweight, which makes her the target for incessant bullying. Especially by a group of girls who revel in tormenting her. A visit to the local outdoor pool brings her more misery, but when she later sees them being abducted Sara keeps quiet.
Piggy is a film which doesn’t shirk from its subject matter. Indeed, it’s almost brutal in the way it tackles bullying head on. It works thanks to a fearless, committed and relentless performance from Galán. It’s also refreshing to see a filmmaker who isn’t afraid to make difficult choices. The ambiguity writer/director Carlota Pereda allows Sara to have and the way Piggy doesn’t simply make her a victim. Creating a rounded and flawed character with the licence to choose her fate.
Piggy open exclusively at the Alamo Drafthouse on 7 October. It expands wider across US cinemas, and is available on VOD, from 14 October.