Skip to main content


USA / Japan, 2009 (MIFF 2010, Wild Things)

Director: Jessica Oreck

“It's as though Sofia Coppola had scrapped Lost in Translation midway through to focus instead on elephant beetles.” - Austin Chronicle

The ineffable mystery of Japan's age-old love affair with insects is put under the microscope in Beetle Queen, which sees filmmaker Jessica Oreck - a lifelong insect lover, and an animal keeper at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City - chart the history of Japan's entomological obsession with a lyrical precision.

The result is a fascinating exploration of a culture steeped in bizarre enthusiasms, exploring everything from insect-dispensing vending machines and professional beetle hunters to the upmarket insect shops where a single purchase could set you back $90,000.

“Burrows into Japan's historic fascination with insects… and what's remarkable about this quietly spellbinding documentary is that it gets the viewer to share in that fascination.” - Variety

D/P/S Jessica Oreck WS Rise and Shine World Sales L Japanese, English w/English subtitles TD digibeta/2009

See also...

Rabbit à la Berlin

The untold story of the wild rabbits that lived in the Death Zone between the Berlin Walls. ... More »


“Monumental. An anthropological work of art.” - Cinema Scope ... A giant bleating flock of three thousand sheep take to the big mountains - and the big screen - in a documentary unlike anything ... More »


This wordless wonder examines life in the wake of the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, as seen through the eyes of a stray buffalo. ... In this poetic drama, given framework by the passing seasons ... More »


A 1962 short from Bert Haanstra made from footage he secretly shot of people visiting Amsterdam's Artis Zoo. ... More »


“Unable to love each other, the English turn naturally to dogs.” - J.R. Ackerley ... For curmudgeonly writer J.R. Ackerley, a man unable to connect emotionally with other people, the biggest love ... More »


Six hundred thousand people have filed past her cage each year. Seven days a week, winter and summer. For 37 years. ... Humans are heard but never seen in this wry documentary that turns its focus ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director