[When the three assistant directors of Rashomon told Kurosawa
that they did not understand the script, Kurosawa responded with this
Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves.
They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing. This script
portrays such human beings—the kind who cannot survive without lies to
make them feel they are better people than they really are. It even
shows this sinful need for flattering falsehood going beyond the
grave--even the character who dies cannot give up his lies when he
speaks to the living through a medium. Egoism is a sin the human being
carries with him from birth; it is the most difficult to redeem. This
film is like a strange picture scroll that is unrolled and displayed by
the ego. You say that you can't understand this script at all, but that
is because the human heart itself is impossible to understand. If you
focus on the impossibility of truly understanding human psychology and
read the script one more time, I think you will grasp the point of it.
Akira Kurosawa. Something Like an Autobiography,
Translated by Audie E. Bock (1982).