|Category||Crime, Drama, Mystery|
|UK Release Date||18 June 2010|
|Cast||Toshirō Mifune, Machiko Kyō, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijirô Ueda, Daisuke Katô, Noriko Honma|
|Distributor||British Film Institute (BFI)|
Famously, Rashomon – which won both the Golden Lion in Venice and the Oscar for Foreign-Language Film – introduced Western audiences to Japanese cinema in general and to the thrilling artistry of Akira Kurosawa in particular. Likewise well-known is the fact that its story of rape and murder in 12th century Kyoto is related in four conflicting versions, each reflecting the experience – or, more troublingly, desire for sympathy – of one of those present at the crime: a bandit (a memorably bestial Toshiro Mifune), a samurai and his wife, and a woodcutter. But the film, with its ingeniously framed flashbacks, is considerably subtler and richer than most subsequent films demonstrating the relativity of 'truth'; it also succeeds as a caustic study of human weakness. Fast-paced, endlessly inventive (one of the flashbacks represents the viewpoint of a dead man!) and visually superb, this philosophical action-movie also boasts great performances from a first-rate team of Kurosawa regulars.