cinetopia film festival review: bugs

Written by Tony Fragale


Courtesy of Cinetopia Film Festival program

Courtesy of Cinetopia Film Festival program

The western world as it has been known is not fond of the idea of eating bugs. In fact, many of us cringe at the idea of munching on a plate full of maggots, or the thought of eating a termite queen. Andreas Johnsen’s Bugs tries to combat this very stigma. Bugs introduces the idea of creating recipes that will not only make eating bugs more accepted but also delicious.


The film follows chef Ben Reade and food-science researcher Josh Evans, and they are both given the opportunity to travel the world in search of recipes for bugs that will convert western culture into believers of eating bugs.


Now, while following these two on their fun journey, there is an overall purpose to it besides the idea of eating bugs. It is reminded throughout the film that with our growing population and limited resources, people are going to start having to turn to eating bugs as food whether they like it or not. So, in an effort to mend that switch, they want to find the most delectable recipes so that the inhabitants of the western countries accept this switch, rather than deny it.


This film also deals with an overarching theme of industrial economics. The film often shows the pair going to different conventions around the world in which some big names are already trying to capitalize on bugs. Nestle and Coke are two big players here. They want to be able to mass produce these bugs, much like their other factory built products.


As a whole, this film starts as a narrow and fun project that is more than just interesting to follow along with. Ben and Josh are two very funny subjects, so the movie is wholeheartedly digestible. However, as the film moves away from their adventures, the viewer has a chance to see just how important and complicated this project is. It’s an argument to sustain a global population, but also tackles how to not destroy many other cultures in the process. This movie will not only please audiences with its tongue-in-cheek humor, but will also make for a wholesome educational comment on industry, culture and economics.


Featured at the 2017 Cinetopia Film Festival in Ann Arbor and Detroit, MI. The festival took place June 1st - 11th and featured “the best films from the world’s best film festivals.”

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