DVD - 2017
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Two Catholic missionaries face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan looking for their missing mentor, at a time when Catholicism was outlawed.
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA : Paramount, [2017]
Branch Call Number: MOVIE SILEN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (161 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
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Apr 15, 2018

Three stars for this one. Against what? Good question. Other Scorcese movies? Yes. Tenacity? No question: it took Scorcese DECADES to bring this movie concept to fruition. Entertainment value?

Well, I was entertained by Silence and I'm not easily entertained. I eject a lot of "entertainment" movies less than half an hour after I punch "play." See, it's subjective: what amuses and excites other people, I describe with the word I see in many of the reviews below: "b-o-r-i-n-g." Like a lot of so-called comedies. And love stories, especially 21st century ones, in which people speak in some kind of bizarre coded language, although I stuck with Judd Apetow's The Big Sick and was eventually rewarded. But it was a struggle, I assure you.

Says one reviewer: "Scorcese must have some demons he's battling." Absolutely correct, and as a New York Italian Catholic, he's been battling them since his first feature, in 1967. You can see his struggle with faith, redemption, Jesus, many characters' inability around women--not to mention the director's own! So, yeah, nothing new there...but this is somehow bad? Whatever fuels the creative fires, I say. Like the director's boyhood fascination with "made men" of the mob: see the early Mean Streets, later: Casino, Goodfellas.

Having said that--I consider this: one of the main characters in this drama (Liam Neeson) no longer has faith. He doesn't "lose" it--he voluntarily GIVES IT UP. He says "enough of this s***" takes an Asian wife and finds peace. Outside the church! Who'da thunk it? So, when you consider Scorcese in THIS light... And consider that the premiere was in...Rome. It does make you pause.

See what a good movie can do?

And I gotta add this: one reviewer says Hollywood USED to make lots of these kind of movies. What kind? "high brow for the mass market." Well, I'm not sure that was ever true. But since when was a movie that actually nudged you into maybe thinking a little as you munched your way through popcorn considered "highbrow"? Heck, I did a little thinking watching Avatar, too. But then, maybe that was just me.

Apr 02, 2018

An absolutely incredible movie with a somber tone, stunning visuals, and true thoughfulness. What does it mean to be pious? I'm not certain the movie answers that question, but at the same time, I don't think it was the movie's objective to do that. Kudos to everyone who was involved.

Apr 01, 2018

A really bad bad bad boring piece of worthless material. Slightly less than recommended.

Mar 19, 2018

I found religion watching this movie - I kept praying for it to end. It was 160 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Some English, some subtitles, a lot of accents difficult to understand, this movie was a lot of work to watch.

Mar 02, 2018

I have not been steeped in Catholic dogma and don’t understand this push to bring ‘uncivilized’ people to their beliefs. I couldn’t finish the film. Way to long, to slow, to self important. Scorsese must have some demons he’s battling. The back cover says “powerful, passionate, harrowing.” Not sure we were watching the same film.

Feb 23, 2018

I did not like this movie. I did not watch much of it, the opening scenes where horrible!

Feb 15, 2018

anytime christians are being killed is a good time. a little slow but worth seeing esp. if your like me and like seeing fanatical nutjobs get their due.

Feb 10, 2018

B-O-R-I-N-G. Murky lighting, bad accents. This kind of religious fanaticism is a mental illness.

Feb 03, 2018

Directed by Martin Scorsese in 2016 based on the 1966 novel (『沈黙』) by Shûsaku Endô (遠藤周作), this historical drama delves into the life of a Portuguese priest (plaeyd by Andrew Garfield) who searches for his missing mentor who tried to spread Catholic Christianity in Japan.
Set in the 17th-century Nagasaki, Japan, two Jesuit priests travel from Portugal to Edo-era Japan to locate their mentor during the days when Christians hide themselves from persecution.
Prevailing was the suppression of Japanese Roman Catholics during the Shimabara Rebellion (1637–1638) against the Tokugawa shogunate.
The silence of God seems to be the message of God, and many elements are common in both Christianity and Buddhism.
I consider this film as one of Scorsese's greatest films---if not all of the religious films.

Hollywood used to make many more films like this -- highbrow movies for a mass market -- but no longer. Now it's superhero pictures, lowbrow comedies and animated features. At times during SILENCE I felt I was back in the 1970s at an art-house cinema watching a Bergman film. Scorsese has come a long way from TAXI DRIVER, and I'm not sure the distance is worth the travel. Nonetheless the movie raises an interesting question about devotion. The viewer can't help but wonder how in the present age we lost all our spirit.

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May 12, 2017

There lays an interesting story about the Dimeov who ruled there. He had four concubines. Four.
They were all beautiful, but they. I'm sorry. Maybe this is not a story for a celibate priest.
-It's alright, please go on.
In that case, the Dimeov's concubines were all jealous. And they fought and fought without end, so the Dimeov Hirado drove them away from his castle. And peace came into his life again. Do you think this story has a lesson?
-Yes. That this was a very wise man.
I'm glad. That means you understand the Dimeov is like Japan. And these concubines are Spain,
Portugal, Holland, England. Each trying to gain advantage against the other and destroy the house
in the process. Since you said this man is wise, you will understand why we must outlaw the Christians.
-Well. Our Church teaches monogamy. One wife. What if Japan were to choose one lawful wife from the four?
You mean Portugal?
-No. I mean the Holy Church.

May 12, 2017

We have our own religion, Padre. Pity you did not notice it.
-No, no. We just think a different way.
True. You believe our Buddhas are only men. Just human beings.
-Even a Buddha dies. Like all men, he is not the creator.
You are ignorant! Padre, only a Christian would see Buddha simply as a man. Our Buddha is a being, which men can become. Something greater than himself. If he can overcome all his illusions. But you cling to your illusions and call them faith.
I'd like for you to think about the persistent love of an ugly woman. And how a barren woman should never be a wife.
What would you do for them? Pray? And get what in return? Only more suffering. A suffering only you can end, not God!
-Go away from from me.
I pray too, Rodriguez. It doesn't help. Go on. Pray. But pray with your eyes open.You can spare them. They call out for help, just as you call to God. He is silent and you do not have to be.

May 12, 2017

Surely, God heard their prayers as they died. But did he hear their screams? How can I explain his silence to these people, who have endured so much? I need all my strength to understand it myself.
Our religion does not take root in this country. Because the roots have been torn up.
-No. Because this country is a swamp. Nothing grows here.
I'm just a foreigner who brought disaster. That's what they think of me now. I dream of now Saint Francis. What happened to all the glorious possibility he found here? What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ? I feel so tempted. I feel so tempted to despair. I'm afraid. The wait of your silence is terrible. I pray but I'm lost. Or am I just praying to nothing? Nothing. Because you're not there.
Lord, I fought against your silence....To this very day. Everything I do, everything I've done. Speaks of him. It was in the silence that I heard your voice.


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Frightening or Intense Scenes: See violence section.

Violence: Many scenes of torture and murder. Beheading.

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