Warning contains spoilers
In 2007, Lucy Mirando succeeds her controversial grandfather as CEO of the Mirando Corporation. She announces that they have been breeding a special kind of superpig. Twenty-six of the best pigs will be sent to locations around the world, and ten years later, one will be crowned the winner.
Ten years later, a young girl named Mija lives happily in the countryside of South Korea with her grandfather and her super pig, Okja. They are visited by Mirando spokesperson and zoologist Dr. Johnny Wilcox, who declares Okja the best super pig and announces they will take her to New York City. Mija’s grandfather takes her to visit the graves of her parents where he presents her with a gold pig and explains to her that rather than buy Okja, which was not allowed, he saved up the money for Okja and bought the solid gold item. Devastated, Mija runs away to Seoul to find Okja, where she sees her as she is being loaded onto a truck. Mija manages to chase down the truck which is eventually intercepted by another truck, run by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). In the resulting chaos Mija and Okja run away causing havoc though they are eventually saved by the ALF. Recognizing that Mija is Okja’s family, they tell her that their plan is to put a recording device in Okja’s ear and let her be re-captured by the Mirando corporation to show how brutally they treat their animals. Mija tells them to return her to the mountains but their translator, K, deliberately lies causing the group to believe Mija went along with their plan. They abandon her and Okja to be recaptured.
Meanwhile, footage of Okja and Mija running through the streets of Seoul has gone viral. In order to do damage control, Lucy pays for Mija to come to New York to be reunited onstage with her pig. Okja is taken to the laboratory where she is forcibly bred with another super pig and bits of meat are extracted from her flesh for a taste test by a drunk Wilcox.
In New York City, Mija spends her time learning bits of English and being forced to agree to the wishes of the Mirando corporation. Jay, the leader of ALF, slips into her room and tells her that they still plan to rescue Okja while on stage. A huge parade is put on by the Mirando Corporation who give out free meat in the street. Mija is reunited with Okja who, blinded and battered does not recognize her and attacks her. In the resulting chaos, Jay tries to hurt Okja, but Mija prevents him from doing so, calming Okja down so that she recognizes Mija. Their escape is shortlived however, since Lucy’s twin sister Nancy quickly takes over and recaptures Okja and has the ALF members beaten and arrested. Escaping, Jay and K take Mija to find Okja in a mass killing plant. The group search for Okja but are unable to find her until Mija sees her going up the ramp to the slaughterhouse. In order to save Okja she runs through the killing plant and sees many dead super pigs. Mija sees Okja as she is about to be slaughtered and shows the Mirando employee a photograph of herself with a baby Okja. The man seems moved, but Nancy arrives and tells Mija and the man that Okja must be slaughtered. Mija offers the golden pig to Nancy in exchange for Okja’s life. Nancy agrees to the deal whilst subsequently arresting Jay and K. As Mija and Okja are leaving, they see many more pigs being led to slaughter. A pair of superpigs manages to push their newborn through the fence, and Okja hides it within her mouth to take it away.
Back in the countryside, Mija resumes her life with her grandfather, Okja, and the new piglet. In a post-credits scene, Jay is released from prison and gets on board a bus with K, who reveals that ALF will be attending a major meeting involving all of the Mirando shareholders.
Okja had its world premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2017. The film was met with boos, mixed with applause, during its premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, once the Netflix logo appeared on screen and again during a technical glitch (which got the movie projected in an incorrect aspect ratio for its first seven minutes). The festival later issued an apology to the filmmakers. However, despite the studio’s negative response, the film itself received a four-minute standing ovation.