The internet is an incredible place where you can discover and learn some amazing things. But unfortunately, as Darryn can probably tell you after he so graciously helped out that kindly sounding Nigerian prince, who just wanted to be reunited with the love of his life, with all of his savings, most of it is utter bullcrap. Outlandish stories and urban legends litter the internet and people just can’t help falling for them, much to the delight of tabloid publications everywhere.
One such “so strange it must be true” stories that floated around the net just over a decade ago, was the tale of Takako Konishi, a Japanese woman who traveled to North Dakota in 2001, after having seen the movie Coen Bros’ Oscar-winning Fargo and somehow mistaking it for a true story. She had come out to the real-life remote town of Fargo in the heart of winter to track down the suit case of money that was buried by the side of a deserted road by Steve Buscemi’s character at the end of the movie. A month later, the 28-year old woman’s body was found in the snow, where she had apparently succumbed to the freezing temperatures while on her determined quest to find the $1 million in cash she believed to be buried there.
The news and unusual circumstance of her tragic death spread like wildfire. Except it wasn’t true. Well, at least the reason for Takako being there. It turns out that her trip had nothing to with the movie, and she was simply going to a remote location to commit suicide after her life had recently fallen apart after her heart been broken by a married American businessman. It’s a truly tragic story, but nowhere near as sensational as the Fargo angle, so of course it’s the latter version that endured.
So much so that the “fake” story of Takako has now served as the inspiration for Kumiko The Treasure Hunter, a haunting looking film from David and Nathan Zellner, which stars Rinko Kukichi (Pacific Rim) as the titular Kumiko, a fictionalized version of Takako. The film’s first trailer is out, and based on this preview, as well as the buzz coming out of the film festival scene, it looks to be an eerie character study, focusing on the desperate lengths people will go to to hold on to what they believe to be the truth.
Kumiko is a frustrated “office lady” whose imagination transcends the confines of her mundane life. Kumiko becomes obsessed with a mysterious, battered VHS tape of a popular film she’s mistaken for a documentary, fixating on a scene where a suitcase of stolen cash is buried in the desolate, frozen landscape of North Dakota. Believing this treasure to be real, she leaves behind Tokyo and her beloved rabbit Bunzo to recover it – and finds herself on a dangerous adventure unlike anything she’s seen in the movies.
Kumiko the Treasure Hunter has a limited opening on February 27, 2015.
Last Updated: December 19, 2014