With this adaptation of the novel by Shusaku Endo, the maker of the film deals with sacred fervour, and bring to their climax the themes of guilt and redemption.
How could they continue to live without knowing the truth ? Despite doubts of their higher, two Portuguese, father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and the father Garupe (Adam Driver), decide, in this year 1633, to win the Japan and return to their master disappeared down there and slandered : accused of having denied the Christ, and apostatized from. It is in the deeper underground they land, guided by a poor man, scared and big mouth-which, as we will notice later, that never ends to convert to christianity, as entered by the light, the better to renounce the next moment, moved by his distress and by his cowardice. It looks like the apostle Peter the power of ten…
for years, Martin Scorsese was dreaming of bringing to the screen the novel by Shusaku Endo (already adapted, moreover, in 1971, by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda and presented at the Cannes film festival). No doubt there was-it has been brought to its climax, the theme which has inspired all his work : guilt. Not only in his films clearly spiritualists — and always a few misfires, however, as well as The Last Temptation of Christ or Kundun. Because the fault and the redemption was to infiltrate at least as much in Mean Streets and Casino, reflections relentless progression of Evil : how it seeps for best to lose us, and also, sometimes, how it is lost to us, dissolves, evaporates at the end of a fight also mysterious that no thank you.
Silence is the crowning glory of a Scorsese haunted by grace, given to some, almost naturally, but others continue for ever and in vain. And the perils of a faith that, sometimes, does not reflect, that the vanity of one who professes. It is a film that is slow, wide, plagued by doubt, certainly, but much more peaceful than usual. In front of these marvellous plans, where nature constantly exceeds human ambition, it is a measure of how Akira Kurosawa was able to be, for the filmmaker throughout his career, a sort of guardian angel. in Kagemusha and Ran are formally very close…
The film’s strength comes from his humility. This is not a manifesto. Not for a moment Scorsese does a proselyte to catholicism. On the contrary, it shows his two priests surprised, and vaguely disgusted, by the villagers, the japanese uneducated, converted by chance and, long since left to themselves, who cry with a fervor hysterical confessions and absolutions. And if they cross the road a few christians who willingly die for their faith — the old Mokichi, tortured, put four days to take her last breath, their admiration is faced with the futility of this death. Their faith falters. Father Rodrigues, above all, even if it hangs on with ferocity : Andrew Garfield, however, had to seduce Scorsese by his stature, his build, and, all told, her hair : caught and locked up, it really looks like, through its rungs, with a lion in a cage…
The pride and confusion mix in a character, easy prey for the Japanese that Scorsese has the intelligence to never paint them as brutes or the simplets. Of course, they torture methodically and expertly catholic priests who venture within their countries to advocate the Gospels but they are, in their eyes, of the colonizers. Fanatics who, without having thought about the consequences of their actions, want to replace an established religion, buddhism, by another, that they believe is best and true. But ” for Japan, nothing exists outside the realm of nature. For them, nothing transcends the human. Our notion of a christian God is inconceivable “, will learn, but too late, father Rodrigues.
Rest, of course, the sacred. It is this concept, which clearly exalts Scorsese, and it exalts, in this film, with a fervor unexpected. The sacred and its opposite : the desecration… The moment the strongest, and most ardent — in a sense, the most “hitchcock” film — is the one where the father Rodrigues is compelled to walk on the image of his God. Of the deny. the ” A single step and you shall be free “, to him whispering the most pragmatic. It is not enough. Much more skilled, others suggest that his treason will put an end to the suffering of christians tortured not far away. the ” They call to the aid as you call God. It is silence. Don’t be. “ Scorsese films then, at length, with infinite compassion, this priest still, and this suspended time where he refuses, resumes, approaches, resists, then yields to this ” act of love “ (according to Scorsese) who will, for him, a mistake irreparabl e. Stigma eternal. We consider the formula of Nikita Mikhalkov in Partition unfinished piano : ” Lord, I know, now, that a single betrayal justifies all the other… “
But Scorsese does not judge anyone. It neither condemns nor the weakness of man, nor, as could be Ingmar Bergman, another of his masters, the unbearable indifference of God to His creatures. Where this thought that father Rodrigues warned her, long after his fall : ” Even if He has kept silent all my life till this day, everything I do, everything that I have made speaks of Him. It is in silence that I heard His voice. “ — Pierre Murat
Letter of father Rodrigues in his superior
” The villagers, gathered on the beach, kept the silence. The Japanese guarded to prevent a christian burial. The bones remaining of Mokichi were thrown into the sea, never to be venerated… My Father, you will say that all these deaths are not in vain. God has surely heard their prayers. But He heard their cries ? How to explain His silence to those people who have endured much ? It takes me all my strength to figure it out myself… “