Based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel of the same name, Silence follows two Portuguese Jesuits, Father Francisco (Adam Driver) and Father Sebastião (Andrew Garfield), enduring persecution in 17th century Japan while seeking out their mentor, Father Cristóvão (Liam Neeson), who faces torture after committing apostasy.
The film places us in the midst of Kakure Kristian (Hidden Christian): a term regarding the period of defeat after the Shimabara Rebellion, where the feudal government rose as Christianity was pushed underground. As is spoken in the opening of the trailer, “The moment you set foot in that country, you step into high danger.”
The opening image of the trailer shows a silhouetted Garfield standing about a torn village. The sense of dread only grows as cameras hang omnipotent, straight down as people trudge and ships sail—soon leading to images of crucifixion in high water as people nearly drown. The magnitude of the trailer alone is immense, and with the 159-minute runtime (as well as the fact that it’s Scorsese), we’ve most likely seen nothing yet.
Silence has been in the works for 26 years. Scorsese signed onto it in 1990, with an array of ensembles as the production started and stopped again and again, at one point starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Benecio Del Toro. After 8-months of production in Taiwan, the film is finish and on its way.
Silence arrives December 23 in the US and January 1 in the UK.