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Sometimes silence is the deadliest sound 

Year: 2016 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Martin Scorsese 
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson  
An image from Silence

Silence, Martin Scorsese’s so-called passion project, which took him over twenty years to bring to completion, is an unsettling historically-founded three-hour-long narration of the voyage of two Portuguese Jesuit missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) to 17th century Japan in the attempt to find and save from persecution one of the Fathers of their church (Liam Neeson). While paying tribute to the missionaries’ unyielding courage and blind religious faith, Scorsese puts on display ruthless and unvarnished violence, alongside a detached and seemingly impartial depiction of the possible extremes and incoherencies of religion and of the simultaneous injustice and horror of its oppression.

Scorsese through each and every scene forces us to question the arguments both sides offer for their actions, to examine the rightfulness of the Christian obsessive promulgation and reinforcement of their faith and the inhumanity and horror of the killing that took place to oppose it. Silence, ultimately, is a scenographically magnificent, powerful and unforgiving portrayal of the suffering and persecution of the “Kakure Kirishitans” (hidden Christians), a brutal part of history often left untold and unexposed. With an incredible performance by Andrew Garfield (which did not receive the recognition it deserved), Silence is a film that will leave a mark on you whichever your faith.

Marta Meazza

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Screenings of this film:

2016/2017 Summer Term (digital)