The surreal black humor underlying Mani Haghighi’s ironic studies of middle-class Iranian life – Men At Work, Canaan, Modest Reception – bursts out in his new Berlin competition entry Pig (Khook), a truly kooky story about a frustrated film director unable to make movies because he’s on the black list. When a serial killer starts beheading the country’s finest filmmakers, our vain hero is horrified that he’s not been murdered – doesn’t he deserve it? […] In the grand tradition of movies about narcissistic film directors, Pig does a convincing job exposing the vanity and insecurity of the fellow behind the camera.
The tale obviously brings the government’s reprehensible practice of blacklisting filmmakers and other artists out in the open for all to see, though Haghighi (who also wrote the screenplay and produced) steers clear of controversy as much as possible. […] Nevertheless, one of the first three directors found beheaded is Rakshan Bani-Etemad, who has promoted women’s and social issues in her work and challenged the unwritten censorship code.
Also quite chilling, when you think about it, is the single word the ferocious killer inscribes on the victims’ foreheads with a knife: PIG. It’s a contemptuous punch, hidden in plain sight. So, although it seems almost buried in the colorful shenanigans, Pig’s political message is there, and this is what the film will be chiefly remembered for.
Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter