Silence

Director Martin Scorsese’s thirty-year pet project of adapting Shusaku Endo’s tale of the spread of Japanese Christianity also portrays how 17th century Christianity led to scientific inquiry and the Enola Gay, while Japanese nature worship produced the rock garden. Jesuit missionaries Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver) volunteer to travel to Japan hoping to reconnect with their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who has ceased all communication with the Church and is rumored to have publicly denounced his faith. At the time, the shogun has directed his Grand Inquisitor, played by Issey Ogata, to persecute all Christian converts, especially foreign priests who are tortured with boiling hot springs and crucifixion at high tide, to eradicate the weed of faith from taking root. The “silence” is what these men receive for their prayers and pleas as local peasants are rounded up and tormented. Scorsese’s study of faith is reminiscent of films such as Ingmar Bergman’s Trilogy of Faith and The Wicker Man in that those of different faiths will react and come away with differing conclusions, but the determination of these men under penalty of death remains an inspiring story nonetheless.

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