Martin Scorsese’s Silence tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life, examines the spiritual and religious question of God’s silence in the face of human suffering.
Silence centres on a Priest, Father Sebastian Rodrigues, who embarks on a mission to Japan. After the recent defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion in which a number of Catholic peasants rebelled against the Shogunate, Japan’s Christians come under a period of heavy persecution. For Christians, 17th Century Japan was a dangerous place to be.
For Father Sebastian Rodrigues this means resisting what his mentor could not: the renouncing of his faith, committing apostasy by stepping on a fumie (a bronze image of Jesus that was used as a test of faith, where suspected Christians were made to trample on the plaque or face execution or imprisonment).
Trying to come to terms with why his mentor would commit such an act of heresy, Rodrigues struggles with what will happens when he himself will be commanded to trample on the fumie.
Should he die for his faith, or trample and publicly renounce Christianity to save his own life?
Set during the rule of the Tokogawa Shogunate, and just before the whole country closed itself off from the rest of the world, Silence is a historical film heralded as of director Martin Scorsese’s theological culmination, and an example of what happens when the very finest of film-making is turned towards a meaningful story.
This film is rated 15 for scenes of strong violence and torture.