TWILIGHT OF THE COCKROACHES
Starring: Setsuko Karasumaru & Kaoru Kobayashi
Genre: Japanese animation
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Rating: Not submitted to the MPAA
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: Stream-line Pictures
Director: Hiroaki Yoshida
Producer: Hiroaki Yoshida
Writer: Hiroaki Yoshida & Hidenori Taga
Address Comments To:
(H, L, S, V) A Fascist humanistic worldview complete with a couple of obscenities, slight sexual innuendo and violence.
The offbeat-Japanese-animated film TWILIGHT OF THE COCKROACHES operates on two levels: that of simple adventure and also as a complex social allegory, and can be enjoyed either as clever live/animation or as a provocative fable. Thus, the film recounts the war between man and roach, and in a final showdown, man is the winner, except for an unborn litter in roachette Naomi's belly.
The offbeat-Japanese-animated film TWILIGHT OF THE COCKROACHES presents a roach-eye view of the world and operates on two levels: that of a simple adventure and also as a complex social allegory. As such, it can be enjoyed either as clever live/animation or as a provocative fable. The movie takes place in bachelor Saito's apartment where the roaches live the good life as they enjoy food particles on Saito's unwashed dishes and remaining dregs from his wine bottles. The arrival of Saito's girlfriend results in all-out war on the roaches, and a final showdown takes place resulting in the nearly complete extermination of the roach kingdom except for an unborn litter in roachette Naomi's belly.
The film director has said that TWILIGHT OF THE COCKROACHES is about Japan, that the concept of a "hated" species is not unlike the racial and cultural enmity with which Japan is perceived. This Fascist idea gives the film a new dimension and becomes somewhat troubling with its concepts of militarism, purity of the species, survival of the fittest, genetic adaptation, cultural accommodation, social conformity, moral repression, and even the generation gap. The animation is clever and combines animation with realism, and the director maintains the roaches' physical point of view from the ground level up so that a messy kitchen table crowded with bottles, cans and boxes looks like Las Vegas--all glitz and free choice.