The freedom of an individual or the freedom to act as an individual has different implications based on different points of view. For example, a young man or woman who is being treated like a little child even though he or she has already grown-up and already able to decide on things him or her already understands or in simple words has over-protective parents, looks at freedom in a different way. For them the word freedom will simply have the meaning of being able to do whatever they want or enjoy things they like without being restricted by their parents, like going out with friends without chaperones, wearing the clothes of their choice, involvement in intimate relationships or something similar. The word freedom in young men and women’s perspective will usually be talking of the issue of dependence or independence to parents.
Another example of a different point of view regarding freedom is the perspective of a nation under a dictatorship. In that kind of government, the decisions of the ruler will be the only one which can make a change, the people under that rule are obliged to strictly follow the laws and the restrictions. In that case, any individual in this kind of society would probably be craving for freedom in the sense that, he or she wants to be able to express him/his self, he or she wants to break away from too much restrictions and laws they need to follow, because he or she is simply not enjoying life fully in that kind of ruling.
Freedom has become a word that elicits a lot of meanings depending on the one who uses it. Usually it pertains to being able to get away from a much higher authority that may be a parent, a boss, a dictator, a doctrine followed in a culture, etc.
But it also may be viewed in a way where someone deals with his or her want to have freedom with his/herself, for an instance there are people who blame illegal drugs because they say that t his or her life could’ve been great if not only because of it, and that they want to be free from it but only they could not because they already can not do anything without it. But if someone will analyze it, it is the addicted person who is holding him/herself from being free of the illegal drugs, because in the first place that person is the one who can only decide for him/herself.
In the films Rashomon, Kagemusha and Rikyu, freedom of an individual to act as one is viewed in different ways. These three films have very different plots or stories in which you could say that they are really very different and each of the stories’ relationship to the freedom of an individual can hardly be seen, but all of these stories can be connected to a universal concept that freedom is being uncontrolled by a higher authority.
In the 1950’s film Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa, the story revolved around the mysterious and puzzling story of the murder and rape of a man and his wife that happened in the forest, the case was reported in four very different versions, but still no one was able to tell the truth.
In this film, the viewers are going to be tested to think critically after each of the four versions of the case has been stated. The freedom to think and rationalize is given to any individual who have watched it, to test one’s skill to assess and analyze different facts presented to him/her. The task of an individual to think and examine what the truth is, can be considered a form of freedom, because this can be done by anyone without considering the fact of anyone or anything that will restrict or control him/her from doing it (MacGregor, 2004).
Another film by Akira Kurosawa that was made in the 1980’s was Kagemusha, the film is about three warlords competing to be able to rule entire Japan solely. And when one of the warlords, Shingen died, it was kept secret by his clan to prevent the other two clans to easily overthrow them from the competition. As a solution to their problem they placed Kagemusha who resembles Lord Shingen. The main plot of the film is Kagemusha’s life while he is placed as the replacement for the true warlord. In that case, Kagemusha earned the freedom to do what he wants to do since he has the power already, but he still is in a dilemma between carrying the responsibilities already passed to him or just take advantage of the power and do whatever he pleases.
In this film, freedom can be viewed as a thing or a benefit that one can have along with having power. An individual’s freedom can be attained if who have the power; because power can give you a vast range of choices, but picking one choice comes along with its effects. Freedom as depicted in this film should be a point where an individual has no one much higher than him/her to control him/her (MacGregor, 2004).
And in the film Rikyu by Hiroshi Teshigahara that was made in 1989, freedom to act as an individual is viewed similarly to the film Kagemusha. Freedom of an individual is being able to have full control of the properties you have, properties meaning, yourself, your mind, the benefit of your hard work, etc. (MacGregor, 2004).
MacGregor, D. (2004). “What Exactly is freedom?” Retrieved March 7, 2007, from http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/macgregor/macgregor1.html.