Friday, January 06, 2017


I went along to the Watershed this afternoon to see Martin Scorsese’s lengthy film “Silence” (some 2hrs 40 mins long!), based on Shusaku Endo’s book of the same name (published in 1966). Strange as this may seem to cinema-lovers, but I think I’ve only watched a couple of Scorsese films in my life! Endo’s profound, disturbing, harrowing novel - about a 17th century Portuguese priest in Japan at the time of great persecution of the small Christian community - was one of our Book Group books in 2014. Scorsese first read the book in 1989 and, over the past 25 years, the possibility of turning it into a film became one of his true passion projects.
Like the book, I found the film utterly compelling… tragic, challenging and unrelenting. Christians in Japan are dealt with viciously… this is a world where Christians are asked to spit on the cross or to stamp on an image of Christ to prove they have renounced their faith (if they demur, they or their families will be cruelly tortured and killed). You certainly don’t need to be a Christian (or to have any other religious beliefs) to appreciate the film, but it’s very definitely a film that makes you question one’s own faith and the very nature of God. Will God remain silent in the face of such unimaginable suffering?
It’s all about the struggle for the very essence of faith.
Tough, but a brilliant film.
PS: Our Resonate group went to see the film last Tuesday, but I was unable to make it… but, after nearly 3 hours of film, I probably wouldn’t have been much good for any après-film discussion! No doubt there will be other opportunities to compare notes…

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