Theatrical Release Date: TBC
Home Ent. Release Date: 12 Oct 2008
Rashomon, like most of Kurosawa’s films, is set during a time of social crisis – pestilence, fires, civil war in 11th Century Japan. Three characters seek shelter from a driving rainstorm beneath the ruined Rashomon gate that guards the southern entrance to the court capital. As they wait for the storm to pass, the priest, the woodcutter and the commoner discuss a recent and scandalous crime – a noblewoman was raped in the forest, her samurai husband killed as a result of either murder or suicide, and a thief named Tajomaru was arrested for the crime. Upon its first screening in Venice, Rashomon stunned audiences with its visionary narrative approach – multiple flashbacks of a key event that fail to conform to one another – a striking narrative device that is now commonplace in both film and TV. More than this, Kurosawa’s genius is such that Rashomon has transcended its own status in cinema to influence modern culture and symbolize general notions about the relativity of truth, unreliability and subjectivity of memory. A genuine classic of World Cinema, the film is based on two stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa and stars the inimitable Toshiro Mifune.