UPDATE (Jan. 11, 2017):
I just read a review of this movie in Crisis magazine. I withdraw my recommendation for Silence. From the review’s conclusion:
“Believers hoping for a film that explores Christian ideas from an authentic Christian context—should skip this one. Silence should also not be seen by the young, or those whose faith is not strong as the theology in this movie is complex, clever and seductive.”
Here’s a ray of light from the wasteland of anti-Christian Hollywood.
He is Andrew Garfield, the actor who first got notice by playing Spiderman.
Garfield is starring in two new movies that are generating Oscar buzz:
- Mel Gibson’s come-back-from-disgrace flick, Hacksaw Ridge, about a WWII heroic, Christian conscientious objector.
- Martin Scorcese’s 40-years-in-the-making movie, Silence, about Jesuit missionaries in feudal Japan of the 1600s when Christianity was suppressed and Christian missionaries were hounded and killed. Movie critic Roger Friedman calls Silence “a Masterwork movie about faith and ideas,” “the Big Idea movie Hollywood has lacked for some time” which discusses “who we are and how we got here” and “who we can be. . . [i]n a world where religious persecution is more prevalent than ever.”
Andrew Garfield, who was raised in a secular Jewish home, plays a Jesuit missionary in Silence.
He describes to The Hollywood Reporter the spiritual preparation he received from Fr. James Martin, who served as an advisor for the film, for portraying Portuguese priest Sebastião Rodrigues:
“He gave me spiritual direction as if I were a Jesuit in training. It became a very personal journey for me, a dual journey: It was me and Rodrigues, walking together, so that I could allow the events of the story to affect me in the way that a young, ambitious, intelligent, articulate, learned Jesuit would respond to being dropped into the front lines of the battle for Christianity.”
Fr. Martin led Garfield through the centuries-old Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. Garfield said:
“It’s almost like a 12-step program. In fact, it’s the basis for a lot of 12-step programs: a longform meditation and prayer spent imagining the life of Christ, story by story, gospel by gospel, and sitting with his teachings, sitting with him as he discovers who he is in the wilderness, and really meditating upon his life and even crucifixion.”
Garfield said that by the time Silence began filming,
“I was filled up with all this information and all this longing to spread the teachings of Christ, which I truly started to adore.”
Silence will come out in theaters on December 23rd, just in time for Christmas. Here’s a trailer:
H/t Church POP