New Movie Shows Price Missionaries Paid in Bringing the Gospel to Japan

New Movie Shows Price Missionaries Paid in Bringing the Gospel to Japan

A new movie produced by Martin Scorsese’s tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) — at a time when Christianity was outlawed and forbidden in Japan. The film is based on the Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel. Set to open in theaters in time for Christmas, SILENCE takes viewers on a journey into questions on suffering, the price missionaries are willing to pay for the Gospel's sake, and touches on themes of where is God when his people suffer.

Executive Film Producer Tyler Zacharia shared with IMB some of the important questions the film raises including, 

“I think they’re some of the fundamental questions every Christian has, but may be afraid to explore: Where is God in the midst of suffering? Why does he allow those who love him to suffer? Is he silent when those who devote their lives to him are persecuted.

It’s easy to be pious in a comfortable environment. But when you’re thrust into life-and-death circumstances, how do you view God and his love? What would I do? Would I fold? Would I bend? Would I be strong?

There are questions of human frailty. Where’s the place for a weak person in this environment of suffering? There’s a character in the movie, Kichijiro, who kind of embodies human frailty. He’s an anti-hero. He’s constantly betraying and coming back for forgiveness, flip-flopping back and forth almost to a comical degree. And yet, I can relate a lot to him. He describes all of us to a certain extent in straying from God and coming back to him.”

There’s also a question of the denial of faith in front of other people. Can faith be hidden and still be real? When you’re faced with impossible circumstances, how far does God’s grace extend?
— IMB interview with Tyler Zacharia

The film also has been a spiritual journey for Scorsese, a Catholic who has been working on this film alone for 28 years and has become a passion project of his, a man who told the NY Times that as a boy he wanted to be a missionary while growing up in Little Italy in NY. 

 

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