Based on the famous Japanese novel of the same name, Silence chronicles the journey of two Jesuit priests and their missionary efforts in Japan. The Martin Scorsese film is filled with heartrending scenes, and insightful takes on theological questions.
Japan was strongly anti-Christian at the time of the movie’s setting. Believers were heavily persecuted and had to renounce their faith or be killed. Two young Jesuit priests, Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver) receive word that their mentor is being tortured in Japan, so they travel there to find him, despite the danger.
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The frustration that the priests feel about God’s silence is the film’s central topic. Although the priests begin their journey with unwavering faith, it is slowly tested as they watch their brothers being killed off one by one. Multiple times, Rodrigues cries out to God in anguish, questioning why horrible things are happening to the faithful.
Despite being filmed on a relatively low budget, Silence’s cinematography never fails to impress. Together with the actors’ expressive portrayals, the viewer is able to fully experience the priest’s harrowing journeys.
Silence provides challenging food for thought to Christians, by taking a different approach to faith. However, this film is also worth digging into for non-believers, as the spectacular plot and stunning cinematography are not to be missed. Believer or not, this film is certain to get you thinking.