As the film’s synopsis states, “‘Kumiko the Treasure Hunter’ is based in a real story, though not necessarily a true one.”
In 2001, a woman from Tokyo traveled to the midwest United States during a frigid winter. She spoke no English, and her intentions for travel were a complete mystery. When she was found frozen to death in North Dakota, the news of her journey and subsequent death became a topic on message boards in the early days of the internet.
Here’s where the story gets really weird: rumors circulated that the girl, Takako Konishi, played here by Rinko Kikuchi, had actually traveled to the U.S. in search of the buried treasure from the film “Fargo,” which the Coen Brothers teased was a true story in the film’s opening credits.
“It was so strange and serious and to have such limited information. And the idea of someone going on a treasure hunt, it was so antiquated in modern-day society,” co-director David Zellner told Yahoo Movies. He and brother Nathan spent the next ten years turning the story into a film, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year. It will hit theaters in March of 2015. Check out the trailer below: