Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Summer 2015 Features series
Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 8:00pm
Directed by David Zellner
Screenplay by David Zellner and Nathan Zellner
Starring Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, and Shirley Venard
Rated NR ·
Japanese and English
A psychological adventure from the Zellner Brothers, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter tells the haunting and strangely funny story of a young Japanese woman set on fulfilling the wildest of dreams.
In a hectic city of 35 million, Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi, Babel, The Brothers Bloom) feels devastatingly alone. Trapped in isolating psychological torment, Kumiko—a meek twenty-something struggling to make it on her own in Tokyo—lives in constant resentment of her dead‐end job and demeaning boss, her more successful and attractive peers, and her relentlessly nagging mother. But her spirits lift when, in a fictional American film, she observes a man bury a satchel of money in the wintry Midwestern wilderness. Though only witnessed on a staticky VHS tape, she becomes convinced that the treasure is real and merely awaiting discovery by a courageous dreamer like herself.
With little more than a self‐made treasure map, Kumiko sets off on an epic, unpredictable journey across the Pacific and through the icy plains of Minnesota to unearth her mythical fortune.
Rinko Kikuchi commands the screen in a complex, heartbreaking performance, and filmmakers David and Nathan Zellner are also featured in key supporting roles.
Inspired by a true story, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter was filmed on location in Tokyo and Minnesota. The Zellner Brothers spin a strangely touching underdog fable, populated by eccentrics and elevated to sonic heights by a Sundance award-winning score from electro-indie outfit The Octopus Project, that will leave audiences rooting for the impossible.
“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is a kind of peculiar, intelligent fairy tale, a striking film, a bizarre joy and a beautiful delight.” (Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist)
“Striking a complex tone of tragedy and uplift at the same time, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter both celebrates the escapist power of personal fantasies and bears witness to their dangerous extremes. It’s the rare case of a story that’s inspirational and devastating at once.” (Eric Kohn, indieWIRE)