SFIFF Spotlights #6: Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter / Fed Up / Stand Up Planet

by Chad Liffmann on May 5, 2014

Spinning Platters brings you more spotlights from the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), which continues through Thursday, May 8th. Program notes and tickets available here.

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
(USA, 2014, 105 min)

Rinko Kikuchi in David Zellner's KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER

Rinko Kikuchi in David Zellner’s KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER

Based on rumors, urban legends, and some odd, tragic headlines from the early 2000s, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is a modern fable that mixes an assortment of thought-provoking themes into a tonally masterful picture.  The Zellner brothers, David and Nathan, direct Babel veteran Rinko Kikuchi in the story of an emotionally lost, socially awkward, and solitary woman (aside from her closest friend, an adorable pet bunny named Bunzo) who journeys in search of the briefcase full of money that was hidden in the North Dakota snow by Steve Buscemi in Fargo.  Weird premise, yes. Fascinating character piece, you betcha!

SFIFF info about the film here.

Fed Up
(USA, 2014, 90 min)

Tipping the scales in Stephanie Soechtig's FED UP.

Tipping the scales in Stephanie Soechtig’s FED UP.

The activist documentary, Fed Up, produced and narrated by Katie Couric, challenges the obesity epidemic head on, not pulling any punches and shocking audiences with stats, facts, and maddening case studies.  What the film proves is that the food industry, specifically the top companies that shove sugar down our throats, have a psychological, and arguably physical, stranglehold around our nation’s youth.  Fed Up is a call to action for citizens to rise up against the companies that are in the business of stemming illnesses, and more importantly, to take preventative matters into our own hands as fast as possible.

SFIFF info about the film here.

Stand Up Planet
(USA, 2014, 105 min)

STAND UP PLANET stands up for comic change.

STAND UP PLANET stands up for comic change.

Hosted by the young energetic comedian, Hasan Minhaj, Stand Up Planet follows Minhaj as he travels to impoverished communities in Mumbai, India, and Johannesburg, South Africa, to find the up-and-coming comedians that aren’t afraid to fuel their comedy with the honest truth.  The laughs are plenty, as are the shocking examples of social inequality, yet, it’s the ultimate mission to capture audiences’ attention and spark awareness through laughter that takes center stage. Mpho Popps Modikoane, from South Africa, and Aditi Mittal, from India, form the international comedic duo that Minhaj befriends and recruits to spread their socially aware brand of humor to a global audience.

SFIFF info about the film here.

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