Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Synopsis & Film Details

Filmworks presents the darkly comedic adventure fable “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,” an American independent film starring Rinko Kikuchi. The inspiration: In 2001, an urban legend circulated online about a lonely Japanese woman who discovered a hidden copy of “Fargo” on VHS, leaving her life in Tokyo for the American Upper Midwest in a hunt for the movie’s buried treasure. The film tells the imagined story of Kumiko, a frustrated secretary whose imagination transcends the confines of her mundane life. She becomes obsessed with a mysterious, battered copy of the Coen brothers classic—a fictional movie she mistakes for a documentary—fixating on one scene where a suitcase of stolen cash is buried in the desolate landscape of rural North Dakota. Believing the treasure to be real, Kumiko plunges herself into a wild and dangerous odyssey unlike anything she has seen in the movies. The visually stunning and strangely touching underdog story is written and directed by indie filmmaker brothers David and Nathan Zellner, stars of numerous award-winning shorts and the 2012 Sundance hit “Kid-Thing,” with a surreal lead performance from Kikuchi, a 2006 Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress in “Babel.” Featuring an electronic score from The Octopus Project. In English and Japanese, with English subtitles.

Directors: David and Nathan Zellner
USA • 105 minutes • Not Rated

Discussion Circle
After the 5:30 show, join visiting filmmaker David Zellner to talk about the film. Based in Austin, Texas, Zellner often writes, directs, and co-stars with his brother Nathan in feature films, short films, and music videos. Their previous features include “Kid-Thing” and “Goliath,” both Sundance favorites. Discussion moderated by Filmworks board member Mary Husain.

earth-day-400pxEarth Day Fresno
The mission of Earth Day Fresno is to inspire people to make change in their daily lives to help restore the ecological health of our San Joaquin Valley and the world. The first Earth Day took place in 1970, activating 20 million Americans from all walks of life and launching the modern environmental movement. Now, more than 1 billion people worldwide participate in Earth Day activities each year. Earth Day Fresno 2015 is scheduled for Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Radio Park, at the southwest corner of First and Clinton.

CineCulture is a free film series at Fresno State offered as a service to the community. Also a student club, as well as an academic course offered by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, CineCulture promotes cultural awareness and understanding through movies and post-screening discussions that are facilitated by a diverse cast of speakers with relevant expertise, including filmmakers, scholars, and more. Screenings are Fridays at 5:30 p.m. during the spring and fall semesters, except on the second Friday of each month when CineCulture joins Fresno Filmworks.

Filmworks thanks Jewel FM 99.3, The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, and Stella Artois for their ongoing support.