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Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 03/16/2006

Day of the Locusts

By Jen Chaney

Remember when the cicadas ruled the Washington area? Of course you do, it was only two years ago.

Still, there's something fun and weirdly nostalgic about revisiting the month-long 2004 invasion of the 17-year buggers, something you can do this Monday at noon at the Charles Sumner School Museum. As part of the Environmental Film Festival, "Brood X: Year of the Cicada," made by local moviemakers Rohit Colin Rao and Greg R.S. Kihlstrom, will screen there for free.

Technically, one could classify this documentary as a nature film. But it's the sort of nature film you might make with your friends after throwing back a couple of beers. The filmmakers interview cicada experts (yes, there are such things) and illustrate the how-and-why of their emergence from the ground every 17 years. But they do it with a sense of playfulness, setting scenes starring the beady, red-eyed insects to the music of Arcade Fire, Rufus Wainwright and Bright Eyes and pointing out amusing factoids. (One pop-up piece of text notes that the cicada currently exiting its exoskeleton is three months older than Hilary Duff.)

The film also demonstrates the impact of the cicadas on residents in the Washington area, including Rao's cicada-phobic sister, who reportedly started ordering groceries from Peapod and subscribing to Netflix in order to avoid leaving the house. True, this movie isn't going to win any Academy Awards. But it does show a guy eating a bug dipped in garlic-butter. And for free, that's good enough for me.

-- Jen

(One final note: Bear in mind that if you plan to bring children, there are a few obscenities sprinkled in among the bug-talk.)

By Jen Chaney  | March 16, 2006; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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Comments

I sauteed a few cicadas back in '04, and they weren't bad. A little like shrimp, but not as meaty. And you don't peel or behead them, either.

Posted by: Phil | March 17, 2006 8:46 AM | Report abuse

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