“Man will point to nature, claiming War was meant to be. But here they died with reason - through selflessness, not greed. ” - Dr. Hellstrom
When we were much younger, my middle brother saved up his birthday money and bought a large ant farm. When it came in the mail, my brother enthusiastically ripped the packing open. The ant farm had a dark-green plastic housing with a clear plastic body. The top of the ant farm had designs cut into the green plastic that outlined a farm, a silo and an old house.
I watched as him and my father filled the farm with ants that we purchased from an insect pack, along with farm. I stood several feet behind them watching cautiously, examining the floor intensely, as if I had microscopic vision, trying to make sure to warn them if any of the ants had fallen to the floor.
I was and I still am allergic to ants.
During the weeks after my brother set up the farm, he would sit excitedly and curiously for hours in front the ants, his nose almost touching the plastic, taking pleasure in watching the ants move gel from tunnel to tunnel. I never shared his pleasure, while he only thought of experiencing the ants from outside the plastic, I always thought about the ants escaping from their flimsy plastic housing.
I feared that one night in my sleep the ants would escape and take revenge on their imprisonment, continuously biting me until my face puffed up, my throat constricted, and I stopped breathing.
My brother always thought of ants as something to be controlled, to be enjoyed. I always thought of ants as something to be feared, an uncontrollable, innumerable plague waiting to be released.
In the 1971 Academy Award winning documentary feature The Hellstrom Chronicle, Dr. Nils Hellstrom makes the argument that, “If any species is to inherent the earth it will not be man,” Dr. Nils Hellstrom believes it will be insects. Insects will win the fight for survival on earth, because of their collectivist mindset and the human race will lose because of their excessive obsession for individualism.
This theory, his obsession, cost Dr. Hellstrom his job, his fellowship, and some of his friendships. All he has to show for his research is this riveting and terrifying film about the species that will one day inherent the earth.
Shot over two years, with eight camera crews, in eleven countries, on four continents, The Hellstrom Chronicle gives you a microscopic view into the remarkable and often terrifying world of insects
Dr. Hellstrom has a word with words throughout the film, and I’d like to share some of them with you.
His quotes paint a picture of an intellectual man who knows something truly terrifying that the rest of society chooses to ignore. Take them as fact, or take them as fiction, either way take them as warnings.
“Without the burden of intellect, emotion or individual identity, these creatures were given something we weren’t: the knowledge that they must work together to create the elusive utopia - the perfect society.”
“Of the billions of living things on Earth, only Man ponders his existence. His questions lead to torment, for he is unable to accept, as the insects do, that life’s only purpose is life itself.”
“Confronted with this incredible resourcefulness - this desperate desire to survive - we must wonder, why? What is the value, even for oneself, to sustain an existence that must ultimately end in death? The insect has the answer, because he never posed the question. “
“Compared with Man, we have to admit that the insect does not display what we can describe as intelligence. But don’t feel too proud about that, because where there is no intelligence, there is also no stupidity.”
“Ever wonder how David slew Goliath? Like the insect, he wasn’t afraid to die.”
“In fighting the insect we have killed ourselves, polluted our water, poisoned our wildlife, permeated our own flesh with deadly toxins. The insect becomes immune, and we are poisoned. In fighting with superior intellect, we have outsmarted ourselves.”
You can watch The Hellstrom Chronicle right here, it is only 90 minuets
(WATCH IT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE TO SAVE YOUR LOVED ONES):
The Hellstrom Chronicle is the scariest educational film I have ever seen. Not only does it have the incredible visuals that one’s accustomed to in a nature documentary, but also terrifying narration by Dr. Hellstrom who with every, word paints a picture of a world where man is no longer the dominant species. The words and the images in the film are still retrieving even today, leaving me with an even greater uneasiness about the little creatures that live underneath our shoes.
The Hellstrom Chronicle is a riveting film with intense and stomach-turning footage that captures the essence of one man’s terrifying obsession and prophecy.
(WARNING NIGHTMARE INDUCING GIF)
“You can escape purgatory, but you can’t escape Hell.” - Priest in My Left Foot
This has been day 12 of 30 VHS In 30 DAYS. My journey to the center of VHS Hell. Special thanks to I Luv Video in Austin, The World’s Largest Video Store, for being my spiritual and literal guide through VHS purgatory.