By Don Simpson | March 19, 2014
Director: Henry Barrial
Writer: Henry Barrial
Starring: Rudolf Martin, Heather Ankeny, Keith Diamond, Ines Dali, Patrick Fabian, Steve Tom, Sarah Danielle Goldberg, Deborah Dir, Brian Lally, Leyna Weber, Pamela Salem, Henry Barrial
A man (Rudolf Martin) wakes up in the California desert with a hood over his head and his hands tied behind his back. He seems to have retrograde amnesia, with absolutely no memory of anything that happened prior to regaining consciousness. Left for dead, he is eventually saved by Isabel (Heather Ankeny) who take him back to her house.
As the nameless man regains his strength, his curiosity grows. At first, his only clues are seemingly random names, photographs and telephone numbers. Eventually, he figures out his name, only to learn that he goes by another name as well. Now he is trying to piece together two separate identities… In other words, this man’s life has become a total mindfuck.
Inspired by Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity Is Near, Henry Barrial’s Pig quickly evolves from a film about a man’s confounding rediscovery of his own identity into a science fiction treatise on the future of neurobiological science. To dismiss Pig as merely being derivative of Memento totally discredits the intellectual prowess of Barrial’s film. Pig functions as an existential diatribe on how one’s past informs one’s sense of self. Then, by wiping the protagonist’s memory, Barrial tests the epistemological theory of tabula rasa, allowing the man to be “reborn” without built-in mental content so that he can learn purely from his experiences and perceptions. The “reveal” might seem a bit rushed, but otherwise Pig is an intense rollercoaster ride in which we (thankfully!) never know more than the protagonist.