Martin Scorsese to Adapt SILENCE for the Big Screen
Martin Scorsese sure has been racking up the directing gigs lately! He's previously attached himself to an adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s crime thriller The Snowman, and he’s also been talking about taking on the mob drama, The Irishman, with Robert DeNiro. I would love nothing more than to see either of these films get made by Scorsese, but today we've learned that his next film will end up being an adaptation of Shusako Endo’s Silence.
This is a story that has been on Scorsese's list of films to make for quite awhile. The story follows Jesuit missionary in 17th Century Japan to investigate reports that his mentor has committed apostasy. The director revealed that this would be his next film in a recent interview,
I’m hoping to do Endo’s book next, Silence… Not hoping, we’re literally pulling all the elements together at this point. Also excited to do another HBO series on the Rock and Roll business in the 60s, 70s up to the 90s and that’s with Mick Jagger and Terry Winter.
Scorsese is obviously a busy guy, he's got a ton of great projects. As a fan of the director I don't care what movie he does next as long as he keeps making them. I'm sure we'll eventually see all three of those movies get made. What are your thoughts on Scorsese adapting Silence in a a feature film?
Here's a plot summary for the book:
Young Portuguese Jesuit, Sebastião Rodrigues (based on the historical figure Giuseppe Chiara) is sent to Japan to succor the local Church and investigate reports that his mentor, Fr. Cristóvão Ferreira, has committed apostasy. (Ferreira is a historical figure, who apostatized after torture and later became a Zen monk and wrote a treatise against Christianity.)
Fr. Rodrigues and his companion Fr. Francisco Garrpe arrive in Japan in 1638. There they find the local Christian population driven underground. Security officials force suspected Christians to trample on fumie, which are crudely carved images of Christ. Those who refuse are imprisoned and killed by anazuri (穴吊り), being hung upside down over a pit and slowly bled. Those Christians who do step on the image to stay hidden are deeply shamed by their act of apostasy. The novel relates the trials of the Christians and increasing hardship suffered by Rodrigues, as more is learnt about the circumstances of Ferreira's apostasy. Finally, Rodrigues is betrayed by the Judas-like Kichijiro. In the climax, as Rodrigues looks upon a fumie, Christ breaks his silence:
"Yet the face was different from that on which the priest had gazed so often in Portugal, in Rome, in Goa and in Macau. It was not Christ whose face was filled with majesty and glory; neither was it a face made beautiful by endurance to pain; nor was it a face with strength of a will that has repelled temptation. The face of the man who then lay at his feet [in the fumie] was sunken and utterly exhausted…The sorrow it had gazed up at him [Rodrigues] as the eyes spoke appealingly: 'Trample! Trample! It is to be trampled on by you that I am here.'"