Based on the same short story as Kurosawa's Rashomon, this shifts the action to a Pennsylvania 'Rust Belt' town where the son (Murakami) of a billionaire Japanese businessman plans to replace the old steel mill with an amusement park. When he is found at the mill with a potentially fatal head injury, an embittered ex-steelworker (Fahey) confesses that he acted in self-defence, a story backed up by the injured man's American wife (Fonda). The local police chief (Walsh) is suspicious, and his investigation reveals a complex maze of personal and cultural conflicts. Rashomon addressed the subjective nature of perception, but Yoshida's debut feature reduces this idea to a mere plot device, designed to sustain suspense. The attempt to deal with the huge subject of US/Japanese economic and cultural relations is similarly fudged by focusing on the triangular relationship between Murakami, Fahey and Fonda. By the time you reach the centre of this iron maze, you may wish you'd opted for the rollercoaster instead.
Cast and crew