License: Public Domain The film depicts a rape and murder through the widely differing accounts of four witnesses, including the perpetrator and, through a medium, the murder victim. The story unfolds in flashback as the four characters—the bandit Tajōmaru (Toshiro Mifune), the murdered samurai Kanazawa-no-Takehiro (Masayuki Mori), his wife Masago (Machiko Kyō), and the nameless Woodcutter (Takashi Shimura)—recount the events of one afternoon in a grove. But it is also a flashback within a flashback, because the accounts of the witnesses are being retold by a woodcutter and a priest to a ribald commoner. Each story is mutually contradictory, leaving the viewer unable to determine the truth of the events.
The film has an unusual narrative structure that reflects the impossibility of obtaining the truth about an event when there are conflicting witness accounts. In English and other languages, 'Rashomon' has become a byword for any situation in which the truth of an event is difficult to verify due to the conflicting accounts of different witnesses. In psychology, the film has lent its name to the 'Rashomon effect'.
The film won a Golden Lion Award at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, and is widely credited to have introduced both Kurosawa and Japanese cinema to Western audiences. The film pioneered several cinematographic techniques, such as shooting directly into the sun and using mirrors to reflect sunlight onto the actor's faces. The film is also notable as an instance in which the camera "acts" or plays an active and important role in the story or its symbolism.
In the film Inside the Edges, German filmmaker Werner Herzog said that Rashomon is the closest to "perfect" a film can get.
coming from GREYLODGE GALAXY