The Pioneers Of Post-Truth: Rashomon, 70 Years On

As the film moves beyond the framing device into the trial itself, the sequence of events is explained, in turn, by the notorious bandit Tajōmaru, the samurai's wife, and the deceased samurai (as channelled by a croaky court-appointed medium). It's confirmed early on by Tajōmaru himself that he killed the samurai and raped the samurai's wife, but each person's rendition hinges on wildly differing interpersonal dynamics and tone. Less an inquisition into murder or sexual assault than a bureaucratic facade, each retelling is a performance built on appeals to existing prejudices.

Blaise Radley for The Quietus…

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