Archive of films Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter / Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

USA / Japan
2014, 104 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2014

This original and visually affecting movie follows the story of a young woman named Kumiko who sets out from Tokyo for faraway Minnesota where, somewhere beneath the winter landscape’s icy crust, treasure lies buried. Presented at this year’s Sundance, bizarre humor and a wonderful performance from Rinko Kikuchi are just two of the film’s highlights.


Twentysomething Kumiko inhabits a cramped and messy apartment in Tokyo with her sole living companion, her bunny Bunzo. It appears that quiet and introverted Kumiko doesn’t fit in too well with the strict Japanese society presented in the film. Her perfect coworkers laugh at her, her boss humiliates her, her mother incessantly advises that she marry already, and her boring work regime seems endless. But then Kumiko sees an American movie set somewhere in the winter wastes of Minnesota. In the film, a man buries treasure under the ice – a satchel packed with American banknotes – and Kumiko’s life takes on new meaning and direction: she determines to unearth the treasure, come what may. The directors of this original, leisurely-paced picture draw the viewer into an intriguing world of bizarre humor and an obsession to achieve one’s dream at any cost. The visually affecting movie, in which the winter landscape becomes one of the film’s players, benefits from Rinko Kikuchi’s outstanding performance – the role of Kumiko was simply "made to order.”

About the director

David Zellner (b. 1973, Greeley, Colorado), lives in Austin, Texas, and works with his brother Nathan (b. 1975) as a writing, directing, and production team on highly original, independent fare. They have shot numerous music videos, as well as shorts and features that are regularly presented and awarded at festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Thessaloniki, and Buenos Aires, where a retrospective focused on the brothers’ work. Their shorts include FLOTSAM/JETSAM (2005), Redemptitude (2006), Aftermath on Meadowlark Lane (2007), and Sasquatch Birth Journal 2 (2010). In 2008 they debuted in features with the comedy Goliath, presented at Sundance, where they later screened the features Kid-Thing (2012) and Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter.


Zellner Bros.
PO BOX 49554, 78765, Austin, TX
United States of America

Submarine Entertainment
197 Grand Street 6W, 10013, New York
United States of America
Tel: +1 212 625 1410

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: David Zellner
Screenplay: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
Dir. of Photography: Sean Porter
Music: The Octopus Project
Editor: Melba Jodorowsky
Producer: Nathan Zellner, Chris Ohlson
Production: Lila 9th Production, Zellner Bros.
Coproduction: Ad Hominem Enterprises
Cast: Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, David Zellner
Contact: Zellner Bros., Submarine Entertainment


David Zellner

Film Director, Production Company


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