A jaded Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried and lost in a fictional film, Fargo, is in fact, real. With a crudely drawn treasure map and limited preparation, she escapes her structured life in Tokyo and embarks on a foolhardy quest across the tundra of Minnesota in search of her mythical fortune.Written by
In a Q&A at the London Sundance Film Festival 2014, the director (and his brother who was not present) claimed that the ambiguous introduction was heavily influenced by the beginnings of the James Bond films that they so loved as children. See more »
Earlier in the film, a soapbox speech of an opposition politician is heard about how he is going to stop nuclear plants from operating again. Nuclear power became a major national issue only in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and a Tokyo politician would not have spoken about it before. See more »
The credits are almost entirely bilingual in English and Japanese -- even though the movie has never been released in Japan as of early 2016 (either in theaters, media, or internet streaming). See more »
I'll Read You A Story
Written by Cécile Schott (SACEM)
Performed by Cécile Schott (as Colleen)
Used courtesy of The Leaf Label
By Arrangement with Woodwork Music, Ltd. See more »
Fortune, and the pursuit of ...
Viewers are asked to identify with the Coen Brothers' fictional "Fargo" and the reality of the Zeller Brothers' "Kumiko" (Rinko Kikuchi of Babel). Our leading lady on a treasure hunt for something we all crave – what we want.
Kumiko is insulated from the rest of the world through solitude, Her character cannot subscribe to Japanese societal norms and the journey is like many: weathering professional and personal criticism for not measuring up to the public barometer. She is hungry for the smallest dollop of approval. Frosty comrade pressures and a personal friend with child make the tiny Single made to believe she does not measure up. Even Mother is disappointed that she is still not married, a Japanese custom that girls are to wed by 25 or live at home.
Yet, our actress ventures out alone to find little gems wherever she goes, small hidden treasures that strengthen thoughts of another journey. She identifies best with her bunny Bunzo (Rabbit - symbol of rebirth and innocence). Emotionally drained, Kumiko cannot stay in a world that punishes her for not attaining expected behaviours. Mistaking make believe for real life, our disillusioned lead leaves native Japan penniless and fixated, but armed. She encounters Americans who unknowingly assist in her adventure. Blanketed in determination, our heroine explores self-abandonment, only to be rescued from the cold with local hospitality.
All this happens against a constant, white background of the silver screen, the Japanese symbol of death. This film leads viewers to decipher what is "not" real and what is. This film is a myth of fortune and the pursuit ... of what we each want. After watching, we may all realise we have been living a dream, maybe other's dreams and not our own. Her future may be someone else's chaos.
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