• 58%
    290 votes
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Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter 2015

  • David Zellner
  • March 18, 2015
  • 105 mins
  • English
  • Drama
A Zellner Bros. Adventure
In the massive city of Tokyo, Kumiko, a twenty-nine year old, lives in utter solitude. She works a dreadful, dead-end job under an awful boss, is intimidated by her well-off peers, and nagged incessantly by her overbearing mother who is exasperated by the fact that her daughter is not married or even in a relationship. The only joys in her life come from a grainy VHS tape – an American film in which a man buries a satchel of money in the snowy Midwestern plains - and her beloved pet rabbit, Bunzo. Kumiko is somehow convinced that this treasure is real, and obsesses over its discovery. With a hand-stitched treasure map and a quixotic spirit, Kumiko embarks on an incredible journey over the Pacific and through the frozen Minnesota wilderness to uncover a purported fortune.

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The following is a true story. Really, it is... I promise!

In 1996, the Coen Brothers film 'Fargo' was released. Several years later an urban myth developed of a Japanese woman who believed the opening credits of that film which stated it was a true story. It isn't a true story at all but the myth alleges the Japanese woman searched for the money that was buried by one of Fargo's main characters. This film is inspired by that story, which, as it turns out, is as untrue as Fargo is.

And so on to this film, a beautifully crafted tale, at once sad and hopeful. Forget the abbreviated backstory above, its best to enjoy this film on its own merits and treat it as the fiction it is.

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The character of Kumiko is like a offensive parody of late twenties, unmarried office ladies. The performance of Kikuchi Rinko is good, and it has the stolen feeling of Fargo landscapes and weirdness, but this has NOTHING to do with the real life japanese woman (I am not saying her name here for respect) who died near Fargo in the snow, and some stupid people started that nonsense rumour that leads to this movie.

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What's with low ratings ? Hardly matters , but don't let that throw you off.This is such a beautiful piece of work !

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