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Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ – prayer and provocation

Scorsese’s latest film ‘Silence’, based on the 1966 novel by Shusaku Endo, is a provocative but rewarding watch, according to Dermot Roantree of Irish Jesuit Communications. He quotes approvingly James Martin SJ, an advisor on the film who said ‘it was like a prayer’.

In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications he outlines the narrative of the film which follows the tribulations of 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionaries as they go to Japan looking for their fallen mentor, Fr Ferreira, played by Irish actor Liam Neeson.

Dermot reflects on the challenges for the Jesuits who find a small Christian community facing persecution from the Japanese authorities. Eventually Fr Rodrigues, played by Andrew Garfield, finds himself confronting fellow Jesuit Fr Ferreira who has apostatised on foot of torture at the hands of the ‘Inquisitor’.

Fr Rodrigues find himself on the very same path as his former mentor whom he considers a disgrace for his apostasy. He comes however to discover what Dermot believes to be a new understanding of faith, and what truly constitutes a call from Christ.