Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

Director's Statement

Filmmaker Jessica Oreck is pictured on the back of a giant silver statue of a cricket in front of a museum.

In making Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, I am striking a new and unconventional approach to science education. My goal is to reach children and adults alike, and to help reframe their relationship with the natural world. My passion isn't about genetics, it isn't about global warming, it doesn't follow the latest craze in the science world — but it is critically relevant to the problems of today. It is about attention to detail, patience, and ultimately harmony — all of which are so rarely present in our modern lives.

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo acts like a 360-degree virtual tour. It revolves slowly around Japan's love of insects, and in the process of capturing different angles of this microculture, it picks up a glimmer of something much larger. Because the film travels not just two-dimensionally around an object, but also through time, this glimmer of something larger ultimately reveals itself, not just as a cultural backdrop, not just as a philosophy, but as an entire way of life — as a possibility to change the most basic nature of our perspectives.

My aim is to challenge the way Westerners view nature, beauty, and the hectic monotony of our day-to-day routine. It is my intention to inspire a new sense of wonder that does not overwhelm, but acts like some gentle war of attrition to slowly but substantially coax us into rethinking how we live our lives. As with Japanese culture, the film is subtle, but it functions as a passageway to a wholly different world of senses.

— Jessica Oreck