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1633. Pax Christi. Praised be God. Although for ust 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...
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I was expecting an Epic on the level of "Shogun" and got a lecture on the rejection of Christianity in feudal Japan which was shallow and unexplained . The subject matter of Japan in the 1600's as Japan is introduced to Western Culture and Christianity is ripe for an in depth and detailed portrait of the clash between Bushido and Western thought, and is well documented- elsewhere. I was expecting a more detailed study of the resistance to Christianity by Japanese culture of the time to preserve the order of Bushido. Nowhere in the film are the traditional concepts of Bushido and Budhism represented in the film, except for implicitly.
The movie seemed to force the viewer to the conclusion that Christianity was the best thing for Japan without explaining how Christianity was in-congruent with Japanese Culture and Social Structure of the time. I began to wonder, are the beliefs implied by this movie born out empirically? A quick survey of Modern Japan today says no. Despite all the strife of the Christian Missionaries in "Silence", a mere 1% of Japanese are Christian today. Apparently the writers overlooked core Japanese culture in the making of this movie.
A more pertinent theme would take place in the Modern Middle East where massive numbers of Christians are being murdered in the modern world and ignored by the Media.
The case of a few Missionaries in Japan back in the 1600's is intriguing only if we study and compare the influences of Bushido and Christianity to the Social/Political normalities of the time.
The 1980's Mini Series Shogun delivered this and far more drama than you'll ever find in "Silence".
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