January 4, 2017

Martin Scorsese’s Silence Turns Theology Into Art

Silence, the movie

Typically, Hollywood, in its portrayal of Christianity, has little to offer beyond mockery and derision. Rarely do mainstream films treat religious questions with seriousness and respect. Contemporary Hollywood, outside of independent films such as The Passion of the Christ, Risen and God’s Not Dead, is anti-Christian.

Silence, an explicitly Christian film directed by Martin Scorsese breaks that trend. The film tells the story of two 17th century Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to find what happened to their missing mentor — Cristóvão Ferreira, (played by Liam Neeson) who allegedly committed apostasy after being tortured by the Japanese government. This transpires at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their (Christian missionaries) presence was forbidden in Japan.

In her review of the movie for The Atlantic, Emma Green writes:
This is what makes Scorsese’s film so radical, and so unlike many other movies about religion: It’s actually art. The high-quality production, rich with color and historical detail, doesn’t hurt—so often, films with religious themes look hack-y, making them difficult to enjoy.
Here is the official trailer for Silence, now playing in theaters:

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