Cinema: Bug's-Eye View

Not since 2001 has a movie so cannily inverted consciousness and altered audience perception as The Hellstrom Chronicle. It is a wry and scarifying cautionary tale, whose point is most neatly summed up by the fictional scientist-narrator Dr. Nils Hellstrom: "The insect has the answer because he never asked the question." In scene after remarkable scene, assorted species of insect are shown as unreasoning, unfeeling creatures who will survive the kind of atomic cataclysm that man, with his superior intellect, continues to shape for himself. "The true winner," says Hellstrom, "is the last...

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