Station 11 is a ten episode series on HBOMAX and Pig is a movie staring Nic cage. This series and movie have been circulating around my brain for the last few weeks. They are both extraordinary pieces of art. The two pieces have nothing to do with each other but I myself had the same emotional response to both.
Pig is a movie about a recluse(Nic Cage) who lives in the Oregon wilderness with no running water or electricity. His only companion is his beloved truffle pig. He spends his days hunting for the very expensive and culinary wonder the truffle. Once a week a young restauranteur visits him, brings him groceries and other essentials in return for the truffles. Truffles are a delicacy and run about 500$ a pound. For many years pigs were the only ones who could sniff them out of the ground but the problem was they also loved to eat them. Dogs are now used to find the truffles. During one random night Robin(Nic Cage) is visited by thugs who beat him up and steal his beloved pig. He then goes into Portland to search for him. You find out during his quest that Robin was once the most famous chef in all of Portland. After the death of his wife he gave up everything and moved into the wilderness. It was his way of dealing with loss and grief. His only friend and companion was the pig. Pigs are very gregarious animals much like dogs. All he wanted was his friend back. I won't give away anymore of the movie because there are a few scenes including the final few minutes that show grief and sorrow in a way I have never seen in a movie.
This series is about a pandemic that kills 99% of the world. Its based on a 2014 book by Emily St. John Mandel. I have not read the book but from what I've been reading they are not similar in structure and make different plot choices. This is one of those rare instances where both the book and series compliment each other. The cinematography and acting are amazing. I won't get too deep into the weeds concerning plot and story. The world has been wiped out by a deadly flu. Only 1% of the world has survived. The main character is a young girl Kristen, she is about 9 years old and is an actor in a broadway play. The world is crumbling and she can't find her parents. She is taken in by a man named Jeevan. He tries to help her get to her parents but they have succumbed to the flu. He now has to protect this young girl. Deep down he doesn't want this responsibility. Sometimes in life we have to do things that we don't want to do. There is an innate instinct in all of us to protect one another. Jeevan is now, weather he likes it or not is her parent. The relationship between these two is the foundation of the series. The other sub plots are also powerful in the way they show how us as humans deal with starting over when there whole existence is erased. Human beings are a resilient species. Our desire to survive is our strongest attribute. Again I won't go into anymore plot details just so you can experience it for yourself. This blog post isn't a review of these two works but just thoughts I have about them.
I wanted to write something about Pig And Station 11 because they both deal with traumatic loss and how we cope and survive. Sometimes this life hands us some really bad shit. There is sadness all over this world. There are people right now, as I am writing this, losing everything in their life. They will carry on in their own way. Finding new protectors, a new love, a new community. And you know what? They just may lose and face terrible things again. And they will start over. In the last two years the world has endured tremendous death. We are seeing in real time the resiliency of the human spirit. Take notice of it. It's beautiful.