Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This Is (Not) A True Story - Notes on 'Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter'

This is a true story.

It's the text that opens Fargo, and it's the text that now opens Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. But, obviously, it's text you shouldn't trust.

While Fargo plays a hugely important role in shaping Kumiko, there's another text that equally plays into the Zellner Brothers' feature. That's Paul Berczeller's La Jette-inspired This Is A True Story - a short film that deconstructs an urban legend that sprung up following the tragic death of a Japanese woman in Minnesota. Certain media outlets reported that Takako Konishi had died while hunting for the briefcase full of cash buried by Steve Buscemi in Fargo. Berczeller convincingly dismantles that myth, examining how a simple misunderstanding and language barrier led to a widely misreported – albeit considerable more attention grabbing - take on what actually happened. As Berczeller explains, the 'true story' was “altogether more ordinary, easier to understand but harder to forget”.