If you haven’t read or heard of Shūsaku Endō‘s book ‘Silence’ – you should grab it online. It’s a fascinating exploration of the true meaning of belief and religion, set on the backdrop of the prosecution of Christianity in Japan in the 17th Century.
Endō is an acclaimed writer and is categorized as a part of the “Third Generation”, one of the major group of writers to appear after World War II. His Wikipidea page claims that Endō “wrote from the rare perspective of a Japanese Roman Catholic”. After reading silence, I couldn’t agree more.
Silence is Endō’s most popular book and is considered to be his masterpiece. I am also thankful it has fallen into the arms of Martin Scorsese, who claims it’s been his ‘passion project’ for years in the making. It feels like his kind of story that might be reminiscent of his earlier work, like ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Age of Innocence’ or most logically ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’. Apart from Martin himself, the script is co-written by Jay Cocks, who worked with Scorsese on the ‘Age of Innocence’ and ‘Gangs of New York’.
The remarkable Rodrigo Prieto is responsible for Cinematography. His work is truly diverse, working most notable with Alejandro G. Inarritu on all of his films before Emmanuel Lubezki stepped in. He has also worked on ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Argo’ amongst many others. In addition he is already pairing with Scorsese on his 2018 release, ‘The Irishman’.
As is Thelma Schoonmaker who is taking charge of the editing. She has virtually been the head editor of almost every film Scorsese has done do date and has received 3 academy awards for ‘Raging Bull’, ‘The Aviator’ and ‘The Departed’. Similarly most of the other cast, ranging from Visual Effects to Sound, are mostly Scorsese’s favorites from his previous films. A rare excpetion might be Wen-Ying Huang who will be responsible for art direction. Recently she was the production designer on Hou’s ‘The Assassin’ – one of the most beautiful films in recent history. It comes at no surprise to see her involved.
Endō’s Silence is remarkably ambitious yet deeply personal. The capacity of the stakeholders involved in bringing that story to life should give it true justice. I urge you not to watch the trailer. Read the book and go see the film after. It will most likely leave the strongest impression this way, even though I haven’t seen it yet myself.