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Rashomon

Director:

Japan| 1950. English subtitles. Black and white. 88 min.


This formally radical ?lm with multiple points-of-view which question the nature of memory and reality focuses on a bandit’s trial and interweaves the events surrounding the rape of a noblewoman and the killing of her husband. Despite being a prize-winner at the Venice Film Festival and a breakthrough for Japanese cinema in the West, Akira Kurosawa’s ?lm was deemed to be ‘sordid and immoral’ by Irish Censor Liam O’Hora, who banned it. Rashomon was later passed by the Appeal Board, but only after the ’embrace’, as the rape was euphemistically called, had been removed. As would happen a few years later with Otto Preminger’s exploration of rape and murder in Anatomy of a Murder (1959), all references to rape were suppressed for Irish cinema audiences, thus negating the central theme of both ?lms.

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