Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

(2014, directed by David Zellner)
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter poster

Death and the Maiden

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is a modern American fable inspired by the true story of Takako Konishi, a Tokyo office worker who in 2001 traveled to the frozen landscapes of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, a small city near the now well-known area of Fargo, North Dakota. Kumiko blurs the line between fact and fable by telling the story which transpired in Konishi’s wake: namely, the urban legend that what she was after in the frozen fields of the American north was none other than the lost (and fictional) fortune featured in the film Fargo by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.

Short film: The Little Matchgirl (2006, directed by Roger Allers)

Free and open to the public.

Part of the 20172018 Schlesinger Library Film Series

Fairy tales are frequently described as magic mirrors for our unseen selves. In them, we find reflected our own waking-life dreams—our happy endings and hopes of fairy tale romance—and our most irresistible nightmares. What does feminist discourse see in its own magic mirrors? This seven-part film series will explore the illuminating, alluring, provocative, polarizing, and playful pas de deux that is currently unfolding between feminism and the fairy tale against the stage of contemporary cinema. Each evening’s feature includes a film short and brief introduction to the programming.

Feminism and the Fairy Tale is curated by Katie Kohn, a doctoral candidate in film and visual studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.