Write your fears down on a piece of paper. Fold it into a pirate hat, put it on your head. There, now you're a pirate [with] no fear.

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Film Review: Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

People get in to ruts in their lives. Get up, go to work/school, go home, go to bed. Repeat in an endless cycle. It is enough to drive you insane.

Occasionally, if we are lucky, we can find something to knock us out of that rut. If we are very lucky, it changes our lives for the better and we live happily ever after.

But what happens when the thing that brings us joy becomes so consuming that it leads us to make…questionable decisions? How far would you go to fulfill your dream?

From the Zellner brothers, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (English and Japanese with English subtitles, DCP, 2014, 105 minutes) is a film about a woman determined to succeed in her quest. A very quiet film that is visually stunning, it isn’t difficult at all to see why this film is burning up the Festival circuit.

Screening in the Festival Favorites category, it is 105 minutes well spent.

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

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Kumiko lives in a cluttered, cramped apartment in Tokyo with her pet rabbit, Bunzo. She works as an office lady, robotically preparing tea and fetching dry cleaning for her nitpicky boss. But on her own time, she obsessively watches a well-known American film on a weathered VHS tape. Rewinding and fast-forwarding repeatedly, she meticulously maps out where a briefcase of castaway loot is buried within the fictional film. After hours of intense research—convinced that her destiny depends on finding the money—Kumiko heads to the United States and into the harsh Minnesota winter to search for it.

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