There would be many things to say about the new film “Silence” directed by Martin Scorsese. For example on the quality of the images that brought our mind to the best paintings, thanks to the use of film used for shooting it, which makes lights and colors more beautiful than ever, images that remain impressed in our minds even after leaving the theatre. All say that the movie is Scorsese’s monumental work: and maybe it is.
A film that Scorsese wanted to do for almost 30 years, since 1988, when Paul Moore, the Archbishop of New York, gave him the book “Silence” by Shusaku Endo on which the film is based. It’s not a secret that, as a teenager, Scorsese wanted to become a priest (he has often declared it in various interviews).
But Scorsese has heard only one true calling in his life: “make movies“. And he wanted to link his vocation to the questions about existence and religion: “During the years ideas come and go. Questions, answers, questions become unanswered and new questions but Silence had become an obsession, it had to be done”.
The author of the book, who shares with Scorsese a troubled relationship with the Christian Faith, rebuilt the journey of two Jesuits in the Japan of Kakase Kirishitan (hidden Christians), in search of their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), forced by persecution and torture to recant his faith.
The young and tormented Father Rodrigues is played by Andrew Garfield, accompanied by actor Adam Driver (Father Garupe); Silence is not so much a story about two priests finding their mentor as a complex reflection on faith, which gives life to the most uncomfortable questions for the viewer. Why does God allow so much hurt? Why do we pray in exchange of silence? In fact, the script highlights the torments of the director, it doesn’t offer answers, shortcuts or consolations.
The exceptional Andrew Garfield said: “I’m really grateful that he took it that long, it must have been very painful for him, because that means that I was the person that got to go on the journey with him. The most ingenious thing about the film is that everyone is right and wrong, there isn’t only one answer and there isn’t only one road. Martin has transcended himself with this movie. Having faith in Christ, in my opinion, it is a gift. Starring with Martin, who has a Catholic formation, made my inner self enriched. “
The director said: “I think I’ve dealt with in different ways the idea of the principles of the Christian faith in the every day life”. And think about how many times this has been represented in his films: the death of Jack Nicholson in “The Departed“, in the madness of Robert de Niro in “Taxi Driver” or the religious fanaticism of “Gangs of New York.”
But Silence is not only the title of the film, it is also the protagonist and the antagonist, the good and the bad, hope and despair. Silence defines everything: it’s what makes us vacillate and it is what gives us strength. Because only in the greatest silence we are able to hear the cry of help of the needy and it is only thanks to the silence that you can build true faith.
The pleasant noise of the sea, the waves crashing on the rocks, the leaves in the wind, others sounds of nature, then: Silence again.
And we all hope it does not represent the silence of the director, who wanted, with this perfect work, to conclude the circle of his greatest films, giving us his most fierce interpretation about what is for him the Christian Faith and above all, in the most painful way, he wanted to explain the pure sense of life, so difficult to understand in all this din.
“I pray but I’m lost, my prayers meets the Silence”.