Here, there be monsters: Bong Joon-ho has made six feature films, including 2013’s acclaimed dystopian action thriller Snowpiercer and his newest, Okja, which received a four-minute standing ovation at this year’s Cannes and has been streaming online since June. In his movies, the monsters may be animal or human — but they are always in some way a human creation. In this video essay, we look at how Bong Joon-ho’s movies and monsters reveal truths about humanity through their exploration of themes like protection, bonding, and love. Are these truths often brutal and heartbreaking? Yes, but that’s no surprise coming from a filmmaker who once said, “In films, animals are either soulmates or butchered.”