Visio Divina – Movie (Netflix): Silence

March 2022 – This month’s Visio Divina offering from Peter Malone msc – Australia is SILENCE.
Martin Scorsese’s version of Shiraku Endo’s novel of 17th century Jesuit missionaries in Japan, Andrew Garfield as the tested priest. Silence is a film of beautiful images of land and seascapes, and very much a film of words, articulated questions of faith, articulated prayers, and, towards the end, an emphasis on rational argument about religion, faith, comparative religions, the politics of Western powers in the 17th century and the reaction against them by the Japanese, and the challenging discussions about the nature of the faith, the possibility of doubt and the conversion of the Japanese, whether Christianity and Catholicism have actually taken root or are simply an adaptation, with sincere commitment, of long-standing beliefs and traditions. It is asked whether the convert values the signs of faith, medals and pictures, more than faith itself. There are substantial discussions about the nature of truth, its universality, and its being relative in different cultures.