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Rashomon film screening on March 28

On Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m., Akira Kurosawa’s classic film, Rashomon, will be screened. At the start of the event, an introduction will be given by Professor Emeritus James Givant. He will offer some historical and artistic perspective of this 1950 film for a modern audience. 

A Q & A discussion will follow the screening. This program, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Orange Bank & Trust Company Great Room in Kaplan Hall.

Rashomon is shown in Japanese with English subtitles and in black and white. The film was released prior to the formation of the MPAA, and would likely be rated PG-13 today.

“A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made.  Four people give different accounts of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks.  This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema  and a commanding new star,  Toshiro Mifune , to the Western world.”  (Criterion Film Collection)

Rashomon has influenced generations of modern filmmakers and found a place on nearly every critic’s top film list.  It received numerous awards, including a 1952 Honorary Academy Award for “most outstanding foreign film,” and is often credited as the reason for the Academy’s later creation of the “Best Foreign Film” category.  The film stars Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, and Takashi Shimura, with cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa, and original music by Fumio Hayasaka.  Its screenplay, by Akira Kurosawa and Shinobu Hashimoto, is based on stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

The film is not only classic by cinematic standards, but timely as well.  “…Rashomon is that rare film that has transcended its own status as film, influencing not just the moving image but the culture at large.  Its very name has entered the common parlance to symbolize general notions about the relativity of truth and the unreliability, the inevitable subjectivity, of memory.  In the legal realm, for example, lawyers and judges commonly speak of ‘the Rashomon effect’ when firsthand witnesses confront them with contradictory testimony.”  (Stephen Prince)  “The title of the film has recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as describing ‘…resembling or suggestive of the film Rashomon, especially in being characterized by multiple conflicting or differing…interpretations.’”  (IMDb)

This Cultural Affairs program is open to the public and admission is free.   For more information, send an email to, call (845) 341-9386, or check out the SUNY Orange website at:

Event date, time and location.

Joanne Zipay
Cultural Affairs