I went to see the film “SILENCE”.
It has been 28 years since Martin Scorsese first read the book written by Shusaku
Endo and finally the film completed.
Director Scorsese was born and raised in Little Italy of New York as a son of Sicillian
immigrants. Surprisingly, he wanted to be a priest when he was a boy.
Little Italy was a two-sided community in which there were many devout Catholic families
but once you step outside, Mafia controlled the town.
So it might be a necessity that his lifetime theme are “Faith” and “Violence”.
I also read the book for the first time.
The film was very faithful to the original.
There was no music for the opening, so the film actually starts in silence.
Even throughout the film, I hardly heard music.
Moreover, as for the credits at the end of the film, I only heard nature sound such
as wind, rain, waves, cicadas, frogs and distant thunder etc.
I was deeply touched by Socrsese’s aesthetic consciousness.
And I thought that he not only showed respect for the book but also deeply understood
of Japanese climate and spirituality.
This is no wonder, since he has a detailed knowledge of Japanese films.
And he said that he shot a scene boat putting out to sea at a night with image of
“Tales of the Moon and Rain” by Kenji Mizoguchi.
Meanwhile, Japanese actors did a great job.
Specially, Yoshi Oida, Shinya Tsukamoto, who is a film director, and Yosuke Kubozuka
are amazing. One of them, I was so impressed with his eyes when Kichijiro(Kubozuka) was watching the priest’s rosary because he wanted its single bead.
Also, this film was nominated for an Academy Award Best Cinematography this year.
I think the scene of a crucifixion in the sea contributed to that.
In fact, Yoshi Oida and Shinya Tsukamoto were fearing for their own physical safety
while shooting, the crew and the extras at the film location were crying watching the scene.
Another important role is an old samurai Inoue , who was a Christian and thought brutal
tortures himself to let give up the faith. Today’s Japan, although it’s only as events, people celebrate Christmas, Halloween, St.Valentine and have weddings at chapels.
He used to explain about religion by using metaphors
“Buddhism is a lawful wife. Heathenry is a concubine”. He probably gives up about the situation in Japan.
The film “Silence” casts you a questioning one after another about not only God or faith,
but only truth and the inner nature of human beings. I still cannot put the faces of Ichizo, Mokichi and Kichijiro away from my mind and the voices “Padre” of followers throw themselves on. In fact, I wish I could go back again the world in the film.
In the book, the priest Rodrigo said
“There are two types of human beings naturally. The strong and the weak.”
The strong means martyr, and the weak means people who abandoned their faith.
But at the last, he mentioned.
“There are no the strong or the weak. Who can assure the weak didn’t suffer than the strong?”
In the present world which logic of the strong goes unmentioned, these words touch the hearts quietly and seriously. (H.S)