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Rashomon Assignment

1. Give a brief outline of the plot (action) of the film. (<50 words)

There are four characters, the bandit, a woman, the samurai, and the woodcutter. They are on trial to recount a murder that occurred. They all give their different versions of the same event and they must find who is guilty.

2. What are the main symbols in the film, what do they represent? (<50 words)

Some symbols that were in the film are the gate which represents the crumbling society of Japan and the sun which can reveal the truth or blind you from it.

3. How is the structure of the film important to the telling of this story? (<50 words)

The film shows each of the characters’ contrasting stories and their mistrust of each other which creates tension and forces the audience to question the guilt and innocence of the characters. Also, it makes the characters more complex when you see how they are all related and connected in some way.

4. What are the main philosophical idea raised by this film is called ‘The Rashomon effect’, which refers to the phenomenon where different individuals provide contradictory interpretations of the same event or phenomenon. The phrase has since been widely used in various fields, including psychology, sociology, journalism, and philosophy, to describe situations where subjective perceptions and biases lead to divergent accounts of the same event. This effect highlights the complex nature of truth and the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. In 250 – 300 words, please answer one of the following prompts:

In what ways does social media exacerbate the Rashomon effect by allowing for the rapid spread of conflicting narratives and perspectives on current events? Give examples.

Social media has significantly exacerbated the Rashomon effect by increasing the spread of conflicting narratives and perspectives on events. Social media platforms allow people with different viewpoints to share their interpretations of events, even if they are not proven to be correct. This information can lead to an increase in contradictory statements, contributing to confusion among people. An example of social media exacerbating the Rashomon effect is the spread of misinformation during major events. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, during the high of the pandemic, there were various conspiracy theories, and misinformation about the origin of the virus that gained a lot of attention on social media platforms, leading to distrust and panic. Another example would be from the news channels. Social media platforms often become the main source of information for many people. However, the large amount of information on social media can lead to the spread of conflicting narratives and interpretations. Most news outlets can have conflicting claims and information can vary depending on which one you are getting your news from. As more information becomes available, conflicting accounts may emerge from eyewitnesses, and authorities each offering their own perspective. This can result in contradictory narratives spreading around on social media, making it challenging for users to find the truth in all the chaos and false claims. The Rashomon effect is thus magnified as individuals grapple with conflicting accounts and struggle to make sense of the unfolding events.

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