in about 100 words or less
Japan 88m, B&W
Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cast: Toshirō Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyō, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki
Set in 11th century Japan, Rashomon tells the story of rape of a woman and the murder of her Samurai husband from multiple and contradictory points of view as told by the rapist, the wife, the husband and a woodcutter who apparently witnessed the events. The presentation of various realities from the points of view of the different participants is a sophisticated exploration of postmodern storytelling whose purpose demonstrates the difficulty of knowing the truth. Although, Kurosawa drew on elements reminiscent of the best of silent film, including minimalist set design and attention to light and shadow, he also utilized multiple cameras to shoot the same scene which permitted editing techniques which produced dynamic visual effects. As one of the most significant films ever made, Rashomon is a visually stunning production whose influence may be second to none (Klaus Ming January 2011).