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...


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 »

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 »

PRIMATE (1974)

“It is essentially about one set of primates who have power, using it against another who haven't.” - Guardian ... Prolific documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (whose La Danse is also ... 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 »


The burden of humanity is placed on the shoulders and into the very being of one of God's forgotten creatures in Bresson's masterpiece, the ultimate animal film. ... Baptised by three children and ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director