Assignment #9

Rashomon Film Response

  1. The film Rashomon is about the murder of a samurai and rape of his wife. The film begins with three of the men gathered discussing about the murdered trial in the ruins of Rashomon Gate, while seeking shelter from the rain. Throughout the film, it showed the trial of the murder crime and the testimonies of each character. Everyone had their own version of the story, and each story was told in a way that benefits themselves. In the end, the old man leaves Rashomon Gate with an abandoned baby. 
  1. The dagger used in the murder is a symbol of violence and betrayal. It represents the destructive consequences of human greed, lust, and aggression. It shifts ownership and the significance in each testimony highlights the manipulation of facts to suit individual agendas. Also, the abandoned baby at the end of the film symbolizes hope and innocence. The presence of the baby suggests that there is still potential for goodness and renewal, especially when the priest gave the baby to the old man. 
  1. The film’s structure is important to this story because it presents the same event of the murder crime in the perspectives of each character. This allows us to witness how different characters interpret and remember the same incident. The structure also gives insight into the motivations, desires, and inner conflicts of each character. 

4. In social media, this phenomenon manifests when various sources provide contradictory accounts. One example is the coverage of contentious political events. During protests, conflicting narratives emerge regarding the sequence of events, motivations of participants, and police actions. Social media amplifies this effect, as eyewitnesses share their viewpoints instantaneously, often without verification. For instance, in the aftermath of a protest, one eyewitness might claim excessive police force, while another asserts self-defense. These conflicting narratives sow confusion among audiences and complicate the journalist’s task of presenting an accurate portrayal of the event. 

The Rashomon effect manifests in politics, especially regarding the interpretation of political speeches, actions, and policies by different factions and media outlets. This phenomenon occurs due to varying ideological perspectives, partisan biases, and strategic interests, leading to contradictory interpretations of the same events. It highlights the importance of critical thinking, media literacy, and engagement with diverse viewpoints to navigate the complexities of political discourse and foster a more informed and inclusive democratic process. 

I do think that the Rashomon effect can be mitigated in my news event. Some strategies are fact checking, background research, and source investigation. These strategies are similar in a way because they all involve looking over the perspective to see if it is accurate. Fact checking verifies the accuracy of information and cross-reference multiple sources to corroborate accounts. This involves examining official statements made by witnesses and ensuring there is no misinformation. Providing background information surrounding the event can help us better understand the complexities of the event. Source investigation can provide reliability to the perspective of the event.