The Cycle of Silk by Kumi Oda

Authors: Kumi Oda

The film “The Circle of Silk” tracks the life cycle of a silkworm to focus on its subtle and peculiar life. 

The silkworm is the larva of the domesticated silk moth, Bombay Moi. All the luxury fashion textile, ‘pure silk’ is still produced by hundreds of thousands of worms since the Chinese started domesticating the wild silk moth 5000 years ago.

As a result of the millennia of selective breeding, the domesticated silk moth has changed colour from brown to white. It cannot fly, lacks any fear of potential predators, needs human assistance in feeding and finding a mate and has increased its cocoon size and growth rate. These changes have made the domestic silk moths entirely dependent upon humans for survival. Current research focuses on the genetic engineering of silkworms as they are cheap, easy to reproduce on schedule. 

The cycle of silk is natural or artificial? As humans, we consider animals as either harmful or beneficial; is there another way to relate to them?

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