Directory:Minks Theater Presents/Rashomon

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Rashomon is a 1950 film directed by Akira Kurosawa. Rashomon introduced Kurosawa and Japanese cinema to Western audiences, and is considered one of his masterpieces. Just so you know, the film is proudly brought to you by Minks Theater Presents... Enjoy...

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Minks Theater Presents/Rashomon
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Produced by Masaichi Nagata
Written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Starring Toshirô Mifune and Machiko Kyô
Budget $0(USD)

Due to its emphasis on the subjectivity of truth and the uncertainty of factual accuracy, Rashomon has been read by some as an allegory of the defeat of Japan at the end of World War II. However, Akutagawa's "In a Grove" predates the film adaptation by 28 years, and any intentional postwar allegory would thus have been the result of Kurosawa's influence (based more in the framing of the tale than the events themselves).

Symbolism runs rampant throughout the film and much has been written on the subject. Miyagawa stated in an interview that the forest setting was symbolic of the mystery shrouding the actual details of the dramatic events. Bucking tradition, Miyagawa directly filmed the sun through the leaves of the trees, as if to show the light of truth becoming obscured. Even the commoner plays a significant symbolic role, nearly as important as the principal characters, as the representative of that cold-hearted component of all men, the one dedicated to the advancement of rational self-interest above all competing considerations. The self-congratulatory smiles and derisive snickers punctuating his frequent, self-righteous statements provide further confirmation of this.