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Silence (2016)

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In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writers:

Jay Cocks (screenplay by), Martin Scorsese (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,035 ( 230)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Garfield ... Rodrigues
Adam Driver ... Garupe
Liam Neeson ... Ferreira
Tadanobu Asano ... Interpreter
Ciarán Hinds ... Father Valignano
Issei Ogata ... Old Samurai / Inoue (as Issey Ogata)
Shin'ya Tsukamoto ... Mokichi
Yoshi Oida ... Ichizo
Yôsuke Kubozuka ... Kichijiro (as Yosuke Kubozuka)
Kaoru Endô Kaoru Endô ... Unzen Samurai (Uneme)
Diego Calderón ... Prisoner Augustinian Friar #2 (as Diego Calderon)
Rafael Kading Rafael Kading ... Prisoner Augustinian Friar #1
Matthew Blake Matthew Blake ... Prisoner Franciscan Friar
Benoit Masse Benoit Masse ... Prisoner Augustinian Friar #3
Tetsuya Igawa Tetsuya Igawa ... Prisoner Japanese Jesuit
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Storyline

Intent on investigating the truth behind Father Cristovão Ferreira's abrupt end of correspondence, the devout Portuguese Catholic priests, Sebastião Rodrigues and Francisco Garupe, set off to Japan, in 1633. In great disbelief, as the rumours of Ferreira's apostasy still echo in their minds, the zealous Jesuit missionaries try to locate their mentor, amid the bloodshed of the violent anti-Christian purges. Under those circumstances, the two men and the Japanese guide, Kichijiro, arrive in Japan, only to witness firsthand the unbearable burden of those who have a different belief in a land founded on tradition. Now--as the powerful Grand Inquisitor, Inoue, performs hideous tortures on the brave Japanese Christians--Father Rodrigues will soon have to put his faith to the ultimate test: renounce it in exchange for the prisoners' lives. There, in the ends of the world, a subtle change has begun; however, why is God's silence so deafening? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes silence is the deadliest sound.

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | UK | Taiwan | Japan | Mexico | Italy

Language:

English | Japanese | Latin

Release Date:

13 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Silence See more »

Filming Locations:

Taiwan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$130,880, 25 December 2016

Gross USA:

$7,100,177

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,834,809
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shin'ya Tsukamoto is long time fan of Martin Scorsese and eagerly applied for a role. Scorsese on the other hand was confused when the application reached him, questioning if it really was the director of Tetsuo (1989) that wanted to act in his film. See more »

Goofs

None of the characters say their names with the correct Portuguese accent. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ferreira: [narrating] 1633. Pax Christi. Praised be God. Although for us there is little peace in this land now. I never knew Japan when it was a country of light, but I have never known it to be as dark as it is now. All our progress has ended in new persecution, new repression, new suffering. They use ladles filled with holes so the drops would come out slowly, and the pain would be prolonged. Each small splash of the water was like a burning coal. The Governor of Nagasaki took four friars,...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the Japanese Christians and their pastors Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam See more »

Connections

References Os Olhos da Ásia (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Taiko Drums
Performed by Kaoru Watanabe
Produced by Stewart Lerman and Randall Poster
See more »

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User Reviews

Faith is tested again and again for nearly three hours.
10 December 2016 | by GoneWithTheTwins_comSee all my reviews

It begins with a cacophonous medley of environmental sounds, such as crickets chirping, before cutting to absolute silence and the title. And then to a shot of severed heads. Perhaps this is Scorsese adding in some of his signature bits of artistic representations and violence. But what follows is an excruciating exercise in repetition, as faith is tested again and again for nearly three hours, with a relentlessness better reserved for succinct motifs, not heavy-handed, protracted lessons on religious dogmata.

"There's little peace for us now." The progress of spreading Christianity in Japan has been halted by persecution and destruction. The remaining padres have - along with their followers - been brutally murdered. Some even ask to be tortured to demonstrate their faith in God, but the end result is the same.

When a letter reaches Father Valignano (Ciaran Hinds), purporting that one of the strongest of all priests, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), has apostatized and taken up a Japanese wife, two young padres refuse to accept such an unequivocal falsity. Resolute in clearing his name, they determine to make the hazardous journey to Japan to find out the truth about Ferreira's whereabouts. Father Garrpe (Adam Driver) and Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) were directly under his tutelage, and so procure a Japanese man, Kichijiro (Yosuke Kubozuka), living in Macao, to aid in their smuggling onto the island.

By 1640, Garrpe and Rodrigues are the last two priests to witness the aftermath of the 20 years of Jesuit persecution in Japan. They make their way to the tiny village of Tomogi before moving on to Goto, where remnants of Christian believers still secretly practice their faith. They must hide during the day and hold mass in the dead of night, always in fear of being found out by the Inquisitor (Issei Ogata), an elderly, somewhat comical man charged with seeking out and eradicating the perceived threat of Christianity.

"Silence" does exhibit stellar performances, especially when it comes to exceptional courage through unshakeable beliefs (Driver being far more convincing than Garfield, in appearance and speech). There are also opportunities for contrasts and fluctuations in adherence to such religious principles, particularly with Kichijiro, who comes to represent many of the failed ideologies mistranslated or misunderstood in proliferating a system so fundamentally alien to many of the formerly Buddhist inhabitants. Doubt also creeps in, as Garrpe grows impatient and Rodrigues questions the illusory habits of a deity that unexplainably remains absent in the most anguishing of times. The two priests, along with most of the villagers, are desperate for tangible signs of faith - signs that occasionally become more valuable than faith itself.

In this perpetual search for validation and proof of God's omniscience, there are numerous sequences of profound conviction, made more striking by the increasing pitifulness of the survivors and the escalation of tortures inflicted on those who refuse to renounce the invading religion. But, correspondingly, in this indulgent, overlong epic of potent morals, where the individualization of religious implications routinely trumps the bigger picture (along the lines of the infuriating yet purposeful justifications seen in "A Man for All Seasons"), there's fleeting entertainment value to be found. It's a historical lecture more than a moving examination of theological unity or human weakness, and surely a plodding series of reiterations on shaping spirituality through pain and fear. It's not quite the "priestsploitation" nonsense that it could have been, but it's nevertheless redundant, light on engaging drama, heavy on physical and psychological trials, and sparse on monumental ideas. Particularly with its finale, "Silence" attempts to think for the audience, so that they don't have to strain to uncover subtle genuineness; religious viewers will certainly interpret various sequences to a greater (or different) degree than those without perspectives comparable to the characters on screen.

  • The Massie Twins


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