Martin Scorsese adapts Shusaku Endo’s acclaimed novel about faith, mission, and suffering.
It’s been 28 years since Martin Scorsese ruffled the feathers of many Christians with the controversial Last Temptation of Christ, a film condemned by the Roman Catholic Church (of which Scorsese is a member) and a key moment in the history of the culture wars. A sincere if uneven exploration of the “fully man” side of Jesus, Last Temptation angered many believers because of its suggestion that Jesus experienced sexual desire for Mary Magdalene.
For filmmakers exploring the humanity of Jesus, a safer bet than pondering his sexuality is depicting his suffering (see Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ). That’s the approach Scorsese takes in his new film, Silence, appropriately released during the season in which we ponder Christ’s incarnation.
A passion project in the works for nearly three decades (since around the time of Last Temptation), Silence is the work of a director whose faith—and artistry—has matured with age.
“Last Temptation was where I was at the time in my own search,” said Scorsese recently in an interview. “It went on one track; Silence went on another. It went deeper.”
Scorsese described the process of making Silence as a “pilgrimage,” a working-out of his Catholicism through the medium he knows best: cinema.
“My way into spirituality happens to be Roman Catholicism,” he said at the screening of Silence I attended in LA. “Over the years I have been concerned about just distilling it to the essence of how one should live one’s life in imitation of Christ, so to speak. This film enabled me to not only think about this but to work it. For me the film isn’t finished.” …
Source: Christianity Today Most Read