Director: Akira Kurosawa
Rashomon remains my favorite Asian film of all time. Based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa's 1922 short story "In A Grove," this film effectively shows the nature of truth (i.e. that it is relative; that it probably doesn't exist). This movie introduced Akira Kurosawa to the world, as well as actor Toshiro Mifune, with whom the master director had many legendary collaborations, including The Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress. (As if an essential team even in death, Kurosawa died of natural causes in 1998, several months after Mifune died.) Rashomon is a certified masterpiece, and therefore essential viewing.