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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.

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351 ( 25)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Old Samurai / Inoue (as Issey Ogata)
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Kichijiro (as Yosuke Kubozuka)
Kaoru Endô ...
Unzen Samurai (Uneme)
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Prisoner Augustinian Friar #2 (as Diego Calderon)
Rafael Kading ...
Prisoner Augustinian Friar #1
Matthew Blake ...
Prisoner Franciscan Friar
Benoit Masse ...
Prisoner Augustinian Friar #3
Tetsuya Igawa ...
Prisoner Japanese Jesuit
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Storyline

The story of two Catholic missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) - at a time when Catholicism was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes silence is the deadliest sound


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

13 January 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Silencio  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$130,880 (USA) (23 December 2016)

Gross:

$7,079,191 (USA) (17 February 2017)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ang Lee helped Martin Scorsese decide on different locations for the filming of this movie in Taiwan. See more »

Goofs

Adam Driver plunges into the sea to save some threatened souls and begins to swim using a stroke popularly known as the Australian crawl, a technique not developed until about 200 years later. See more »

Quotes

Interpreter: The path of mercy. That means only that you abandon self. No one should interfere with another man's spirit. To help others is the way of the Buddha and your way, too. The two religions are the same in this. It is not necessary to win anyone over to one side or another when there is so much to share.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Conan: Ted Danson/Gad Elmaleh/Josh Abbott Band (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Cloud and Light
Written by Toshio Hosokawa
Performed by Mayumi Miyata and the Münchener Kammerorchester (Munich Chamber Orchestra), conducted by Alexander Liebreich
Courtesy of ECM Records
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User Reviews

 
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16 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There's a reasonable argument to say that SILENCE is one of Martin Scorsese's better movies. The talk is that it was a passion project of his for decades, finally being released in all it's artistic endeavors and mysteries. I suppose someone else could argue the opposite: that this is a story full of brutality and despair without the signature style of the aged director. I think I'm falling right on the middle on this one. This is surely one of the year's most powerful stories, and yet I have to admit it left me cold.

The story follows two priests from Portugal (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who venture into hostile Japanese country in search of their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who has abandoned his Christian faith. Some chalk it up to mere rumors. These two young ministers take the journey to find out for themselves.

What begins as a fairly traditional story ventures into the heart of Japan in the 16th Century with a sharp attention to both detail and horror. This is less a story of a search for one man as it is an odyssey into the despair found in conflicting religious beliefs. Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) holds hope that Ferreira is alive while also working to convert as many locals under cover of darkness. Upon landing on the shores of Japan (smuggled in on small fishing boats from China), he encounters villages of faithful Christians who worship in secret. For them, the arrival of Rodrigues and Father Garupe (Driver) is confirmation of their beliefs. Through language barriers, it seems that God is always present.

As we delve further into the country towards Nagasaki (where Ferreira is said to be held), the two priest break off on separate journeys. Rodrigues, though oftentimes alone, is shadowed by a Japanese recluse named Kichijiro, a drunk who once betrayed his faith in order to spare his life (he witnessed the execution of his entire family) but returns to the faith time again in order to make Confession and amends with the Lord. Rodrigues continues to absolve him, and yet this is the slow unraveling of an aspect of this story: do the Japanese really comprehend the religion in the same way Westerners do?

There are three people who make this movie better than average: Andrew Garfield surely gives one of the year's best performances as a man trapped in his own personal Hell, forced to grapple between martyrdom and eternal damnation. It's a strong year for Garfield, getting accolades and Oscar buzz for his other leading role in 'Hacksaw Ridge.' Trust me, this is the better performance. Second is the skill of Martin Scorsese, who slowly paints a portrait of a time long forgot with such attention to tone. It's a horrifying and at times morbid story to sit through, but there was never a moment I found myself any less than fully-focused and contemplative.

Third is a surprise, a breakthrough performance by a Japanese actor named Issey Ogata who gives without a doubt one of the year's most memorable performances. Throughout the film the Christians living in Japan are routinely inspected by samurai officials who intend to hunt down and capture any found citizens in violation of the law. One such official is Inoue Masashige (Ogata) who treats the job with a certain flair. Constantly waving a fan and with an ear to ear smile, this is a performance that steps above the rest of the cast by perfectly encapsulating the braggadocious nature of Japanese law without missing a beat. It's a winking devil performance that I hope the Oscars won't look over.

'Silence' is at times hard to palpate and yet rewards the audience for it's patience. Whether or not this film can be interpreted as being pro or anti-Catholic is maybe not the ultimate message of this film. While the final act delves into a horrifyingly-dark arena, consider the final shot before the credits begin to role (I won't spoil it). In such a brutal era with antiquated customs, isn't there still hope left to be found?


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