Silence. 2016. USA/Taiwan/Mexico. Directed by Martin Scorsese. 159 min.
In development for over 20 years, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel is one of the filmmaker’s most intensely spiritual films, a discovery of faith through suffering that recalls the director's Raging Bull (1980) and The Last Temptation of Christ. Filmed in Taiwan and set in 17th-century Japan, Silence is the story of two young Portuguese priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who dare to enter the island empire during the time when the Tokugawa shogunate was attempting to eradicate the Christian religion. As the two priests search for their former teacher, an older missionary (Liam Neeson) rumored to have committed apostasy rather than suffer the tortures of the shogun’s chief inquisitor (Issey Ogata, in an indelible performance), their beliefs are subjected to fiendish tests both physical and psychological.