Of the 5 accounts (the woodcutter’s original account, the raped wife’s, the bandit’s, the murdered husband’s ghost’s, the woodcutters second account) of the truth of events in Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece, Rashomon, only the woodcutter’s secound account, the last version recountes, is preceded by ‘honest contrition’ (as film critic Ritchie has called it in his Criterion Collection commentary). This renders it, for me, the most believable of all the versions. In the ongoing SNC Lavalin affair, there has been, in the testimonies given so far to the House of Commons Justice Committee, no sign of any such contrition! In former principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Gary Butts’ nonchalant, “I am fully aware that two people can experience the same event differently,” we have an acerbic invocation of the multiplicity of realities that can accrue from one set of events, a multiplicity that has become known as the ‘Rashomon effect.’ If Gary Butts showed no contrition, the Privy Council Clerk (the most senior civil servant in the Canadian government) Michael Wernick was positively bristling with indignation as he revealed, amongst other titbits, how the Chairman of the Board at SNC-Lavalin, Kevin Lynch, from whom he took a phone call in the run-up to the crisis, was a former Clerk of the very same Privy Council! … O Canada!
Collaged from: https://drafthouse.com/show/rashomon