What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is a psychologically and morally complex tale of a trial to determine who is at fault for a murder and possible rape. The rape is not depicted onscreen, but is discussed openly. The murder is rendered somewhat realistic, though without gratuitous bleeding or goriness.
What's the story?
In director Akira Kurosawa's RASHOMON, a man is murdered in the woods following the rape of his wife by a bandit. At the trial, the bandit, the wife, a medium channeling the murdered man, and a woodcutter who had been hiding in the woods all recount different versions of the story. The movie works to expose the near impossibility of finding absolute truth in the world, rather than condemn any one. At the end, the woodcutter acts to redeem himself, punctuating the narrative with a sense of hope.
Is it any good?
Rashomon was the film that brought Akira Kurosawa, and many would say Japanese cinema, to international renown. It's a true cinematic masterpiece. Kurosawa's direction is magnificent, structuring the film to clearly give each version of the story its own space while maintaining its connection with the other versions. Toshiro Mifune as the nearly spastic bandit is a pleasure to watch.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the potential fallibility of the legal system in relation to absolute truth. What factors do you think played a role in the credibility of one witness's account over another? Have you ever been in a situation when you heard two different accounts of the same event? Which version did you believe? Why? How was it resolved?