This evening we watched Kurosawa’s 1950 classic mystery crime thriller, Rashomon. The basic plotting device is brilliant in its simplicity. Four people – a woodcutter, a samurai, his wife and a notorious brigand – give their accounts of the samurai’s murder (the samurai gives his own account through a spirit medium). Each account is different and each is contradictory, so the four must all be lying. Where lies the truth and, in the end, does it matter? (Kurosawa himself spoke about exploring ‘multiple realities’.) This basic story is bracketed by exchanges between the woodcutter, a priest and a commoner as they sit beneath a ruined gate (Rashomon), waiting for a rain storm to end. The commoner sees through the woodcutter’s lies (he deduces that he stole the murder weapon, a fine dagger) but the latter redeems himself in the eyes of the priest by taking into care an abandoned baby (yes, he stole the dagger, but in order to feed his six children). I am no expert on cinematography but Kurosawa’s triangulation of characters, the reflected lighting and his use of long, dwelling close-ups add to the impression of inner tensions. Through his emphasis on subjectivity and the unreliability of ‘factual’ evidence Kurosawa reminds us forcefully that no experience can be the same; we all live in different realities.