Kumiko the Treasure Hunter trailer

Snopes killed the urban legend, but strange and unprovable stories can still live on in film. And there’s often a grain of truth at the bottom of the most unbelievable story. For Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, the truth is this. In 2001 a Japanese woman, Takako Konishi, was found dead in the snow in North Dakota. Misinterpretations led to the idea that Takako failed to realize that the film Fargo was a piece of fiction, and that she was searching for the money buried in the snow by Steve Buscemi’s character. That story went around for a while, until it was disproved in 2003. But David and Nathan Zellner have turned the strange tale into an elegant film about loneliness and the willpower and specific insanity required to chase wild dreams. Have a look at the Kumiko the Treasure Hunter trailer below.

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Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (header)

Despite what that disclaimer led people to believe, the Coen BrothersFargo was not actually based on a real incident. But in a twist out of a Hollywood movie, the untrue Fargo wound up playing a part in a strange true tale after all, and now there’s a movie about the latter.

Directed by David Zellner and based on a 2001 event, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter centers on a lonely Japanese woman (Rinko Kikuchi) who becomes convinced that a stash of money buried in a fictional film is real, and heads to Minnesota to seek the buried fortune.

Which sounds like a great basis for a whimsical indie — but in reality, the woman’s quixotic quest turned out to be something else, something sadder and darker, entirely. Hit the jump to take a first look at the pictures and find out what actually happened to the “treasure hunter.”

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