A Review of The Treasure Hunter

The treasure hunter is an American drama film directed and co written by David Zellner. It stars are kanako Higashi, Nathan Zellner, David Zellner, hirley Venard, Nobuyuki Katsube and Rinko Kikuchi.

The treasure hunter premiered on 20th January, 2014 at the Sundance Film Festival and later made its international premiere on 8th February, 2014 at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.


The main character in this film, Kumiko, a 29 year old office lady lives in absolute solitude in Tokyo. She has a dreadful job under a boss she distastes, is nagged by her overbearing mother to get married and is intimated by her peers.

She only enjoys the company of her pet, Bunzo the rabbit and a VHS tape containing Fargo film which she found in a secluded cave in the shore. Komiko is convinced the film is based on a true story and becomes obsessed over a scene where the character played by Steve Buscemi hides a bag of ransom money along a snowy highway. She begins taking notes while watching the tape. She then goes ahead and attempts to steal an atlas at the local library but is unfortunately caught by the security guard who eventually pities and allows her to take the atlas.

With the threat of a younger person taking over her and increased pressure from her mother to go back home, Kumiko abandons her pet rabbit and boards a place to Minneapolis using the company card. With the map, Kumiko begins the journey to find the alleged fortune. When she gets to Minneapolis, she is unprepared for the winter weather, can barely communicate in English and her boss cancels her card. Pressed for cash, she is picked by an old woman but she later sneaks out and continues with her search for the purported treasure.

She is later picked by the sheriff deputy after passerby report her to be wandering through the streets. She explains the film to him but an attempt by the sheriff to explain to her that the film is fiction is futile due to language barrier. The officer takes her to a Chinese restaurant hoping to get someone who can translate. While at the restaurant, Kumiko calls her mother to ask for some money but the mother accuses of theft and continues to criticize her for being unmarried. This makes kumiko to break down.

With the help of the office, Kumiko buys winter clothes and kisses the officer who explains that he is married and continues to tell her that the treasure does not exist. She runs to a taxi upset and asks to be driven towards Fargo. While there, she frees across the field and wonders through the frozen lake looking through the ice for the bag. From a distance she notices something that looks like a suitcase and is convinced that it is the treasure bag only to find a decayed oar.

Kumiko continues to wander deeper into the forest and eventually sees the bag containing money. Ecstatic, she scream, I was right after all!’ She then meets with Bunzo, her pet rabbit, reunites with him and walks away proudly.


This film has won numerous awards including the Best Female lead and Best director. Producer, Chris Ohlson has also received tremendous awards including the Spirit Award Piaget Producer award.


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