3014 Southeast 18th Avenue
Portland, OR 97202
Ryotan presents Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, the 1952 Oscar best foreign language film. The film is set in 11th century Japan near the ruined outer city gate of ancient Kyoto, when the land was beset with natural disasters, plague, famine, and lawlessness.
The film tells the story of a violent crime that happened deep in the woods as told from the perspective of four different characters — a bandit, a woman, her husband and a woodcutter. Only two things about the incident seem to be clear — the woman was raped and her husband died. However, the other elements radically differ as the four participants and/or witnesses relate their own stories (the dead man speaks through a medium).
In the process the film explores how the stories people tell others and themselves can be used to protect their self-image; the truth is seen as subjective and can’t be believed in its entirety because of each narrator’s ego. Near the end of the film where the narrative account seems closest to the truth, we witness how the ideals of femininity, bravery, honor, nobility, and romantic love/desire are illusory when the actual is revealed. The end of the film brings us back to the Rashomon gate where a selfless act brings about a renewal of faith.
It will be at Ryotan’s house in inner SE Portland. Some snacks will be provided; feel free to bring others to share. Though the event is free, donations are always accepted and appreciated.