Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 91 minutes · 2009

Japanese consumers think nothing of spending $300 or more for a beetle, cricket, or caterpillar of symbolic importance. The capture, retail, care, and feeding of these critters are a significant industry in Japan, but this hushed and meditative 2009 documentary by Jessica Oreck is more concerned with mapping the religious, philosophical, aesthetic, and literary contexts of the nation’s enduring bug fetish. At 91 minutes, her leisurely essay might prove too long for all but advanced Zen adepts, but it persuasively upsets our Western notion that turtles and goldfish, but not bugs, qualify as low-maintenance pets.
Director: Jessica Oreck
Producer: Maiko Endo, Akito Kawahara and Jessica Oreck

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