This Is a True Story (2003)

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In December 2001 the world's media focused on the small town of Fargo, North Dakota, where the body of Takako Konishi was found in the woods by a hunter. The media reported that she had ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mimi Ohmori ...
Jesse Heliman ...
Himself (as Officer Jesse Heliman)
Steve Kilde ...
Himself (as Officer Steve Kilde)
Guy Taima ...
Steve Brantt ...
Mark Stenberg ...
Art Kohler ...
Marty Solmon ...
Mary Solmon ...
Debbie Krueger ...
Simon the Dachshund ...
Jeff Nemec ...
Scott Maneval ...
Tami Hunt ...
Herself (as Officer Tami Hunt)
Kel Keena ...
Himself (as Chief Kel Keena)


In December 2001 the world's media focused on the small town of Fargo, North Dakota, where the body of Takako Konishi was found in the woods by a hunter. The media reported that she had left Japan with the misunderstanding that the Coen brother's "Fargo" really was a true story and that there was a stash of money hidden somewhere in the snow on a road by a tree. This documentary traces the background to the story and finds that the media, quick to jump on a "funny" story of foolishness, had gotten the story totally wrong. Written by bob the moo

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4 July 2003 (UK)  »

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22 June 2015 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

The media promulgation of a connection between Takako Konishi and the movie Fargo, I felt, was just too creepy. So it was a relief that I found this movie that purports to set right certain misunderstandings. This movie has been done in an interesting style. There are interviews with some of the actual people that interacted with Takako and some re-enactments, especially with the actress Mimi Ohmori who portrayed Takako. There are filmed scenes interspersed with a series of stills. It all held my visual attention throughout.

But now I have so many unanswered questions. Why was she going around with only a coat over her underwear without any kind of dress, skirt, pants or other clothing over her panties? A hurriedly left assignation? A recent rape attempt? Was that normal dress in the Tokyo she came from? Or in the milieu she was of in Tokyo at that time? Mention was made of her leaving her Shinjuku apartment at midnight and coming home around dawn. Just the kind of schedule to either visit host bars or to be working in the demimonde herself. She was young, attractive, and without local family support. Just the kind of woman often recruited by the Tokyo demimonde. She lived in Shinjuku. Anywhere near the red-light district Kabukicho?

Detroit Lakes, where she was found dead, is said to be the hometown of the American in Singapore whom she talked to by phone for 40 minutes the night before she died (not likely Singapore because of the filmmaker's privacy agreement with the American). She had been to the Detroit Lakes area a couple or more times before. Detroit Lakes has a population of less than 10,000. Someone must have seen the American and Takako together the times they previously visited. Either family or friends. What actually was their relationship? Was it professional. You know, escort and client? Lovers? A piece on the side? Just friends? Former lovers? How did Takako get the American's phone number in "Singapore"? Why didn't she travel to "Singapore" instead of Minnesota? Or did she before then coming to Detroit Lakes? What did that tree mean to her? He would have to have been with her for whatever the experience was. Was the tree the site of a night sky with a great view of the stars?

How did she and the American meet? Where? Roppongi? Shinjuku? Kabukicho?

Of course the filmmaker could possibly answer some of those questions: he tracked the American down and spoke to him but was sworn to maintain the American's privacy.

As an aside, when she was pointing to her stomach and saying something in Japanese to the policeman it could have been "Onaka ga tsuiteiru," (I'm hungry). That " tsuiteiru," might remotely sound like "cancer" to someone unfamiliar with Japanese (GA TSui tEiRu). For that matter, that tree could have been on the road between Detroit Lakes and Fargo. Thus her mentioning "Fargo." If the policeman made her feel bad about going to Fargo ("Fargo?! The movie?!") She may have said "Maa ne" ("Maa ne 【マーね】 – Used when someone asks you a question and you have an answer that's bad so you don't really want to say. 'How was the test?' 'Maa ne'") which sounds a lot like "money." I'm just sayin'.

To commit suicide in the American's hometown was a form of passive-aggressive hostility. Or expression of deep, hopeless love by someone incapable of expressing such a thing any other way. Or both. Or both and more. Or neither. What do I know?

So, without input from the American even this movie, in its way, is as incomplete and inaccurate as the media hype about Takako's connection to the movie Fargo.

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