22 October 2012 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Gove referenced the 1950s Japanese classic when coming to ex-chief whip Andrew Mitchell's defence. Can the film's plot be applied elsewhere in politics?

Could it be another example of the Boris Johnson effect? If politicians are no longer afraid to scatter Latin tags, then surely it's just the next step to reference golden-age Japanese cinema in attempting to put your mark on a resignation crisis. Michael Gove, in his defence of the now-ex-chief whip Andrew Mitchell, suggested the old truth-is-relative concept by mentioning the Akira Kurosawa classic Rashômon.

Asked in a 5 Live radio interview whether he believed Mitchell, he said: "Yes I do. There's a Japanese film, I think it's called Rashômon, in which different participants who see the same event all have different recollections of it."

Rashômon famously upended the neatly packaged resolution of crime fiction by offering four different versions – none of them conclusive – of the same »

- Andrew Pulver

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