MVIFF: KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTERJapan, USA | 2013 | 105 minutes | Not Rated | Drama
Sunday September 07, 2014
Martha's Vineyard Film Center
$12 General Admission, $9 Member,
$7 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
Buy tickets at Film Center or online now BUY TICKETS
David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, Shirley Venard
A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried and lost in a fictional film, is in fact, real. With a crudely drawn treasure map and limited preparation, she escapes her structured life in Tokyo and embarks on a foolhardy quest across the frozen tundra of Minnesota in search of her mythical fortune.
Lonely Tokyo office worker Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi) is absolutely dying at her desk, too awkward to connect with her co-workers and too timid to establish a presence for herself. In her personal life, her only connection, aside from the one with her pet rabbit, is with her mother, and it’s a passive-aggressive relationship at best.
In an inspired bizarre sequence best left unspoiled here, Kumiko comes across a dropout-laden VHS cassette of the Coen Brothers’ FARGO and becomes obsessed with it. Taking the film’s farcical opening declaration that it was based on true events at absolute face value, Kumiko misunderstands FARGO to be a documentary and grows convinced that she has cracked the exact location of the suitcase full of money that Steve Buscemi buries at its close. She realizes that this secret knowledge may be her only shot at escaping a life that is crushing her. Armed with a carefully hand-drawn treasure map and very little money, Kumiko abandons everything in her life and embarks on a journey deep into mysterious Minnesota, knowing next to no English and almost nothing about the West.
Executive produced by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor and featuring a spellbinding score by the Octopus Project, this is one deeply unusual treasure hunt you absolutely must experience on a big screen.
The film premiered at 64th Berlin International Film Festival on February 8, 2014.The film later screened in-competition in the US Dramatic Category at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2014, and went on to screen within such festivals as SXSW and Maryland Film Festival.
"One of the best films to ever premiere at Sundance." -David Ehrlich FILM.COM
"Kumiko the Treasure Hunter is a real find... an oddly funny and often heartbreaking portrait of mental illness as well as exploration of both the freeing power and danger of cinephilia." -Simon Miraudo QUICKFLIX
"It's the rare case of a story that's inspirational and devastating at once." -Eric Kohn INDIEWIRE
"Completely original, technically proficient, and simply mesmerizing." -Kim Voynar MOVIE CITY NEWS