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Drama - Historic

Silence (2017)

Silence

 Duration 2h 41m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A novel by Shusaku Endo
Director Martin Scorsese
Writers/Script Martin Scorsese, Jay Cocks,
Starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds, Issei Ogata, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Yoshi Oida, Yosuke Kubozuka

Elevator Pitch: In 1633 two Portuguese priests, Fathers Rodriguez and Garupe, whose mentor, Father Ferreira, had disappeared in Japan during a period when the authorities in the country were rounding up and killing Christians, got permission from their bishop in Macao to go to the country to find him, unable to accept that he might have apostatised. Once in Japan they find hidden groups of Christians who welcome them, but the priests are captured and the authorities torture the Christians, to get the priests to follow the example of Fr Ferreira. Will they deny their faith to save their followers?

Content: No nudity or sex, but a great deal of rather unpleasant violence as the Japanese think up very elaborate ways of torturing their victims to death. These include ladling boiling water over them, wrapping them in straw mats and burning them, wrapping them is similar straw mats and throwing then into the sea, crucifying them at low tide so that they drown and worst of all hanging them head down over pits with cuts in their necks so that they gradually bleed to death. A lot of time is spent with Father Rodriguez as he hopes for divine guidance while imprisoned.

A View: This is an impressively made film with incredible quality values. Everything to do with the Japanese authorities is wonderfully constructed, the prison cages particularly. It was well liked by the critics and was amongst several critic’s best films of the year, but it bombed at the box office. Maybe cinema-goers just did not fancy over two and a half hours in the dark. My wife and I both liked it, although we were able to watch it in two parts in our living room. So even for the unreligious well worth the cost of a download.

Additional info: This film was a long time project for Martin Scorsese actually over 25 years, and when it came to it in order to save money everybody worked for scale. Still lost a fortune by any normal standards.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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