“What is the truth? I don’t know anymore — and we have 500 people trying to tell us,” Kevin Costner said in a radio interview with Variety‘s Ted Johnson. Costner must not be hooked up to the Internet if he thinks it’s just 500 people trying to tell us what’s true, but his point is well-taken. The truth of what happens is often elusive, flavored as it is by how any incident is perceived. Costner should know. He’s in the film business, which gave us perhaps the most famous example of varying versions of truth: the indelible film called Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. Rashomon is from 1950. The truth didn’t start hiding yesterday.
Costner was on the radio promoting his new film Black or White, a film he hopes has something important to say about race. He financed Black or White himself, unable to find a studio to back it. He plays an attorney in a custody battle over his granddaughter, who is of mixed race. Costner hopes Black or White takes a measure of authentic truth about people and race. He’s disappointed that the media doesn’t seem able to get there. Agendas obscure the facts, Costner says.