MOVIE: SCORSESE’S “SILENCE” AND THE SEASIDE MARTYRS
When I first read Silence in grad school, everybody wanted to talk about The Quandary. It was the same when I taught the book to high schoolers a few years later. They all wanted to know: did he do the right thing? Was it okay to step on the fumie, an act that even the Inquisitor called a formality, to save the lives of people who had already apostatized?
It’s a good question and an important conversation. That’s why so many of the reviews I’ve been reading revolve around this issue. But to my mind, it’s not the point.
There’s so much more in this film, as indeed there was in the book, so many moments of powerful faith and challenging rebuke, that to evaluate it all on how the director views Fr. Rodrigues’s apostasy is beyond unfortunate.--> Read Full Post - including 17 thought provoking discussion points
The much-anticipated “Silence”, based upon the Shusaku Endo novel of the same name, is a worthy addition to the Scorsese oeuvre. It is marked by gorgeous cinematography, outstanding performances from both lead and supporting actors, a gripping narrative, and enough thematic complexity to keep you discussing the film for the foreseeable future. In this episode of the Word on Fire Show, Bishop Barron discusses his insights about “Silence” [SPOILER ALERT]. The listener question comes from a young child who wonders where we were before God made us.
- 0:17 – Introduction, Bishop Barron’s Christmas vacation and silent retreat
- 3:35 – What is the premise of “Silence”?
- 4:55 – What was Bishop Barron’s reaction to reading the book for the first time?
- 5:45 – How would you react if your great spiritual hero abandoned the faith?
- 6:58 – What is the significance of the moment when the priests arrive in Japan
- 9:25 – How do we approach the question of whether or not we would keep our faith under persecution?
- 11:35 – What do we make of Fr. Rodriguez’s conclusion that it is ok to step on Jesus’ face?
- 14:45 – How do we approach the idea that we can do something wrong in order to create a greater good?
- 16:45 – Why has the Christian faith had such difficulty flourishing in Japan?
- 20:35 – What does Bishop Barron think about Martin Scorsese?
- 24:10 – Who is the hero of this film?
- 25:20 – Question from listener: How did we start before we were born?