This 1950 film brought director Akira Kurosawa, and indeed, Japanese film in general, to the attention of the West by winning the Golden Palm at Cannes. Its depiction of utterly irreconcilable "eyewitness accounts" has made the title something of a catchword in such situations. A bandit meets a nobleman and his wife in the forest, and somehow the nobleman ends up dead, and the wife possibly raped. Although at the subsequent various other parties testify, the focus is on the accounts of the bandit, the wife, the dead man (through a spirit medium), and a woodcutter who apparently witnessed the whole thing. Not only does none of the stories jibe with the others, but they are COMPLETELY different and each is morally undercut by the others. Kurosawa frames the conundrum in a conversation between the woodcutter and two other men (one of them a priest) who have ducked out under a ruined gateway to get out of a heavy rain.
This report prepared by David Loftus
Another of Akira Kurosawa's masterpieces - Rashomon is a thought provoking movie - concerning truth. Is there such a thing as objective truth when an incident is narrated by different people? The film centers on a bandit's desire to have a woman he saw in the forest along with her husband....and he achieves his quest. Yet when he and the various parties relate their conception of the events that took place, a very interesting theme emerges - who is telling the truth? the bandit (wonderfully played by Mifune), the victim ( a woman that is represented as being both a victim and an evil, deceiving personage) or the dead husband, communicating with the audience through a medium? The main character and adversary in the movie are one and the same person - the bandit. Yet in the course of the film, the figure of the adversary shifts onto the so-called victim - the dead man's wife. On a finishing note, the viewer is led to believe that it is the dead husband through the medium that is telling the truth - yet, maybe he has own motivation for what he says. A thought provoking film, of a philosophical nature and words are not enough to convey its essence. To comprehend it, it needs to be seen. At the end, the viewer is left with the question - what is truth? Does such things even exist? Or is it all based on subjective perception of events?
This report prepared by anastasia g