The Rashōmon Effect
Akira Kurosawa’s psychological thriller Rashōmon has intrigued and fascinated audiences for nearly 70 years with its masterful cinematography and innovative storytelling. The tale of a murdered samurai is unraveled through contradictory interpretations of the same occurrence by various witnesses—the bandit accused of killing the samurai, the deceased samurai (who is channeled through a medium), the samurai’s wife, and a peasant who saw the crime occur but did not report it. But who is telling the truth? And what is truth? Throughout each witness’ flashback, Kurosawa deftly explores the influence of motive, memory, and perception upon truth, challenging the notion of whether truth can exist in its purist form without some measure of subjectivity. The films in this series, more or less, employ the same narrative device as Rashōmon, pushing viewers to ponder the nature and concept of truth while also acknowledging their own flawed perceptions.
Curated and programmed by Brittany D. Friesner.