Rashomon

  1. Rashomon is a movie told by 4 different perspectives on the story of the murder of a samurai man and the rape of his wife. 4 different people give an account of what happened, including the samurai who was murdered, and the movie ends with one of the 4, the woodcutter, taking in an abandoned child.
  2. A lot of the movie forces emphasis on the darkness in society, specifically the trustworthiness that transpires. One of the main symbols were the animals that appeared, such as the crows and badgers who can represent the different people who gave accounts of what happened.
  3. The structure of the film inspired an important method in storytelling called the Rashomon effect. This effect is when multiple accounts give their perspective on what happened based on their own personal flashbacks among other things. This method of storytelling can allow the viewer to come up with their own assertation by discerning which parts of each POV was the truth.
  4. In social media, we see the Rashomon Effect play into other people’s lives almost everyday. The rapid spread of information, often lacking verification or context, can lead to a clump of voices, who each present their version of the truth. One example of this is when on Tiktok, someone will make a vlog about how they were inconvenienced by someone whether it was a friend or a stranger, and will lead to people in the comments reacting to it by saying something along the lines of “Let’s wait to hear from the other side”. This will lead to a ‘he said she said’ type of situation where people will go back and forth online and put it out there for strangers to decide on when they serve no purpose in the actual drama. Another thing I came to realize is that social media algorithms contribute to the Rashomon effect by creating echo chambers. Individuals are exposed primarily to content aligning with their beliefs and biases. This can be something hardcore like politics or something lighthearted like a favorite series. This reinforcement of preconceptions makes it challenging to discern objective truth from subjective perspectives.

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