Review of Rashomon (1950)

Moving picture, 88 minutes

Three men await the end of a violent rainfall under a partially ruined gate in medieval Japan. Two of them have been so horrified by a police hearing earlier in the day that they are pondering human nature darkly. They start to describe the event to the third man, a commoner who just arrived, in the hope that he can find the truth buried in four differing versions.

Modernist metafictive drama with some action and fantasy. Great in technical and literary aspects, though sadly less nihilistic than the literary basis by Akutagawa. Scholarly literature seems to ignore that the fourth account has hilarious bathos.

References here: “A Matter of Perspective” (1990), Bride of Silence (2005).

moving picture Japanese production fiction