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