Ben Oliver

Now
Banner image for Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
film

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

I only need page 95. It is my destiny.
20 April 2023

A young Japanese woman (Rinko Kikuchi) in a stressful, dead-end office job travels to America, in search of the fictional stash of cash buried in the snow in the Coen Brothers’ film Fargo.

Fargo fans will remember the ‘this is a true story’ title card shown in that film. Well, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter really is inspired by a true story, albeit one that was turned into an urban legend after the fact. In 2001 Takako Konishi travelled to Fargo and commited suicide, but at the time it was widely (and wrongly) reported that she’d travelled to North Dakota in search of the buried money.

With that in mind, this film might on paper seem in fairly poor taste. However it manages to use the urban myth version of the events to build a beautiful, funny and devastating story without ignoring or mocking what really happened.

Sometimes it feels like a great premise in search of a script, but the contemplative pace of the film combined with its stylish visuals kept me more than interested.