Silence (2016), Dir. Martin Scorsese

Silence (2016), Dir. Martin Scorsese
I worry, they value these poor signs of faith more than faith its self. But how can we deny them?
— Father Sebastião Rodrigues, Silence (2016)

Stars: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Liam Neeson, Issei Ogata, Yosuke Kubozuka, Shinya Tsukamoto, Yoshi Oida, Ciarán Hinds.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenplay: Martin Scorsese & Jay Cocks

The human condition is the need to believe that there is meaning to our lives. Whether that be through religion, science, work, from within; it is an eternal struggle that one person must take in order to be at peace. However when someone's ideology of meaning is contradicting another's it can turn ugly. In the 1600's European nations were colonising the new found lands and using Christianity as a way of finding a connection and transitioning the native people into the colonisers culture. There Christian faith was insanely successful in converting most of the world to its teachings; however Japan had no desire to change from Buddhism and sought out to eliminate the growing Christian faith.

Portuguese Fathers Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garrpe (Adam Driver) found out that their teacher Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) has renounced his faith in Nagasaki Japan they they have taken on a mission to save his soul if the rumours were true but they must do so in secrecy. 

I believe that this film assumes you are of the Christian faith as it never tries to explain what is so beautiful about it. For this reason it is quite difficult to truly empathise with the Fathers and their followers as you have only been given the fact that these people are being hunted out and killed by the government—though that in itself should make you care, but the heavy handedness on the intense need of the religion gets a bit in the way. However, after the film takes a turn and starts to discuss the effects this story has on greater Japan the film starts to come to life.

It is very pretty but my main hesitation is in regards to Garfield's choice in acting. It feels as though we have no in into his mind and way of thinking—even when there are many voice overs. It feels one sided just like his discussions with Jesus. We are to care for his character simply because we are meant to, not because we have been invited to, and that goes for all of the Portuguese characters.

A bit of a miss for me, but the film is beautiful. 

★ ★ ★ 1/2