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The Heroine’s Journey: Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

To boldly go where no woman has gone before.


Going off on a journey to uncharted territories can not only be terrifying but also dangerous, so why do we yearn to take a trip that could potentially be our last?

Through out film/television history, we’ve seen all types of heroes take this journey, and with thanks to Star Trek: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before … but what about the women?

We all know Joseph Campbell’s idea of the hero’s journey, but lets not forget about our heroine’s journey, as well. The film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter by director David Zeller shows a journey of a young 29-year-old wanting to break free of this traditional lifestyle and the modern day pressures women face related to getting married and having children.

What if that isn’t your path? What do you do when you feel stuck in a world that doesn’t understand you? You dive deep into another world—in this case, a world based on the film Fargo. Kumiko finds and old VHS tape of the 1996 Coen Brother classic Fargo and begins to religiously watch and study it. Why you may ask? Because she believes (*spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie) that there’s really a briefcase full of money that Steve Buscemi’s character buries and is still there waiting to be found. Like searching for her hidden road to Eldorado, she embarks on the journey in hopes that this money will be an escape from her unhappy life. She must go to Fargo.


She does whatever is necessary to obtain her quest, goes on the road less traveled, and becomes a modern day explorer in the far-off lands of Minnesota. Whether it be stealing her boss’s credit card to get to the United States or avoiding the naysayers who tell her that she should just give up, she has to follow her path and luckily find some help along the way. This comes in the form of the library security guard who gives her the map she’s looking for or the Minnesota Police officer who buys her clothes. They help her get to her destination, even though they, too, may not believe this is a wise decision. But that’s not their choice.

It’s hers.

Nothing can stop her, not snow, not language barriers, and not even death.

And as Fleetwood Mac says “you can go your own way”. Don’t listen to the naysayers. If you believe there’s a treasure buried in the cold snowy, iciness of Fargo, go check it out but please, at least, remember to bring warmer clothes!

(Stacie Sells is a nerd, writer and artist based in Oakland, California. When she’s not bing watching her favorite TV shows with her cats, she’s either compiling cross over fan fiction for her website Fictorious Journal or putting her final touches on her musical based on Keanu Reeves called Keanu! The Musical (@keanuthemusical on Twitter).

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