Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

Director Jessica Oreck
Genre Documentary
Runtime 90 minutes
Country of Origin USA, Japan
Language English, Japanese
Supplier Argot Pictures
Festivals/Awards Albert Maysles Award - Dallas Video Festival 2011


Like a detective story, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo untangles the web of influences behind Japan’s captivation with insects. It opens in modern-day Tokyo where a single beetle recently sold for $90,000 then slips back to the early 1800s, to the first cricket-selling business and the development of haiku and other forms of insect literature and art. Through history and adventure, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo travels all the way back in time to stories of the fabled first emperor who named Japan the "Isle of the Dragonflies."  Using insects like an anthropologist's toolkit, the film uncovers Japanese philosophies that will shift perspectives on nature, beauty, life and even the seemingly mundane realities of day-to-day routines.

Official Film Site


Press & Articles

“These beetles make an impression” - The Boston Globe

“Doc reveals the secret life of the Japanese” - Boxoffice Magazine

“In Japan, the Children Are Buying Bugs” - The New York Times

“'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' documents Japan's fascination with insects” - The Christian Science Monitor

“Japan's love affair with insects in 'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo'” - Los Angeles Times

“Critic's Pick: 'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' Review” - The New Yorker

“This documentary about the Japanese fascination with insects is a wonderfully strange, richly detailed experience” - The Guardian

“'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' Review” - Variety

“The Bewitching Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo” - The Village Voice

“'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' Review” - San Francisco Chronicle

“'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' Review” - The Hollywood Reporter

“'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' Review” - A. V. Club

“'Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo' Review” -

“Japan's yen for bugs” - New York Post

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

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