“Silence” Speaks Up

Release Date:Jan/13/2017
DirectorMartin Scorsese
CastAndrew Garfield、Adam Driver、Liam Neeson、Yôsuke Kubozuka
Viola's Rating:8.0

It has been 28 years for director Martin Scorsese to finally finish his latest feature film “Silence”, which was released on January 13th, 2017. It’s a film he must finish, not only for the visit the author of its original novel paid, but also for his own longing for Catholic and Christianity.
Based upon the 1966 novel of the same name by Japanese author Shusaku Endo,  “Silence” is a fictional spin-off of a real story. This adventurous, historical drama sets in the 17th century. Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan propagating Catholicism and attempting to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy.

After the production of “Life of Pi”, Taiwan was introduced to Scorsese by director Ang Lee as an amazing place to film instead of just a hometown. As a close friend of Lee, Scorsese visited Taiwan in 2014 to do location scouting including the largest self-generating wave tank built for a flick in Taichung. Later in the beginning of 2015, “Silence” was shot entirely in Taiwan.
A bunch of biblical symbols are presented in the motion picture such as the twelve disciples and idol worshipping. It’s very bleak that a once flourishing religion is now demolished and people who believe in it are prosecuted.
Due to the cold-blooded punishment such as anazuri which hangs people upside down and leaves them bleed over a pit and the wide depressing sea, the hues of the movie are soil brown and steel grey, not bright and lively at all.
With these biblical symbols and vivid demonstration of torture, “Silence” gives the audience a chance to ponder about the true meaning of religion. Most religion teachings tell us to confess and to face our weakness, and Catholic emphasizes “confession” even more. Everyone desires salvation regardless of the religion you believe in.
In “Silence”, confession is embodied in alternative ways: apostasy, continuous and repetitive confession that you don’t know whether it’s genuine or not and keeping one’s religion deeply in hearts. Each provides a different realization on how we should look at religions. Is how people think about us matters the most? Or the God who we believe in is the one who cares although he’s silent all the time?

Shot in Taiwan, the various natural sights shown in the picture represents the cruel of “silence” and the beauty of patience. Waiting for the day to reunite with their mentors, waiting for the day Japan gives in, waiting for the day their God finally listens to them, pastors in “Silence” endure tremendous adversity in such intriguing environment. “Silence” is an inspirational and motivational feature film for Christians or religious activists since it speaks up for the true meaning of belief.

Picture credit: IMDb


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