Call#: Van Pelt Library--4 East--Temporary Location Annenberg PN1998.3.K87 R5 1996
Similar to other sources, Richie emphasizes the relativity of truth in Rashomon. But, after a comprehensive analysis of the different versions of the story that are told, Richie comes to a conclusion slightly different from other analyses: "No one - priest, woodcutter, husband, bandit, medium - lied. They all told the truth." In this he says that Kurosawa doesn't question what truth is in the film, he questions reality.
In other words, what can define reality considering that everything is based on the subjective truth perceived by humans? To an individual who is emotionally distraught, reality changes and the line between illusion and reality is blurred.
Not only that, but Richie argues that one of the main points of Rashomon is that sometimes, humans are unable to distinguish real from unreal. It's not that they don't want to, but extenuating circumstances make them incapable of doing so. In the case of the wife, she is traumatized and disconcerted after the bandit takes advantage of her and after she is disowned by her own husband, she is led to believe that she killed her husband. To her, this is the truth, although to the audience it is just a perception of reality. Consequently, Richie attributes this condition to the natural weakness of humans; that they must unconsciously deceive themselves of the truth.
Richie's argument is an extreme one - it relies too much on the weakness of humans as being unable to judge reality. Perhaps he doesn't not want to admit that humans can be deceitful, which could lead the characters to portray the events differently as well. With his argument, reality is an illusion; he avoids the possibility that humans can consciously distort reality (lie) for self-preservation.
Call#: Van Pelt Library Rosengarten Reserve PN1998.3.K87 R5 1996