I reviewed Martin Scorsese’s Silence for Christian theology blog Think Theology.
A black screen. The escalating hum of cicadas. One word appears on screen as the noise stops. Silence. Then, the camera slowly reveals hot springs in the Japanese mountains, almost a beautiful sight until you realise why we are there. Five western missionaries are having the scalding hot water poured slowly over their skin, while a sixth, Padre Ferreira, is forced to watch.
It’s a stark, disturbing and gripping opening to Martin Scorsese’s latest. It lets you know that you are in for a harrowing 161 minutes, as relayed by someone in complete control of his craft. Silence is a masterpiece and it led to probably the most profound spiritual encounter I’ve ever had in a cinema.