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Cicadas v USA

How cicadas became a landmark and a cultural staple for the Eastern half of the United States

Cicadas v USA — the new film by RT Documentary — shows how people have formed an unusual bond with cicadas, how they celebrate the cicadas' emergence and eagerly wait for it every 17 years. When cicadas are all around, they are tough to ignore. During the high season, the sound of a cicada whirring is as intensive as the sound of the kitchen blender. "I am trying to counteract that sense of dread by trying to find that sense of wonder", says one of the residents.

Cicada enthusiasts are teaching other people to welcome the insects and appreciate them. Decomposed cicadas are part of the soil that feeds the trees that at one time fed them. Besides, a cicada's life can be a metaphor for human life — they are just as fragile, and their time on earth is also short and fleeting. So every minute should count for something. Yet they are very resilient, spending 17 years "in a covid-like "atmosphere of social distancing in the ground and only have a couple of weeks to enjoy themselves. They take full advantage of this time, and that's what people should do.

Doug Wechsler, a photographer, has been observing cicadas for years; he knows everything about their life cycle and where to find them. He even wrote a book about the cicada's life. They indeed are fascinating objects for observation. They hibernate as nymphs in the moist soil near untouched trees and lawns. Once the soil is warm enough, they crawl out and reveal their true self. Once they are out, they have three weeks to enjoy life, meet a partner and breed. How they managed to become such an essential part of people's lives — find out in the new film!