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Director Martin Scorsese to helm story of 17th Century Jesuit priest

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/3/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'Silence' to begin production shortly in Taiwan

While he's best known for macho, action dramas such as "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and Goodfellas," movie director Martin Scorsese's previous work has always been steeped in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Now, America's finest living motion picture director will address Catholicism directly in "Silence," the story of a 17th Century Jesuit priest who travels to Japan to spread Christianity.

Andrew Garfield will play the lead role of Father Sebastian Rodriguez, a character based on an Italian priest named Giuseppe Chiara.

Andrew Garfield will play the lead role of Father Sebastian Rodriguez, a character based on an Italian priest named Giuseppe Chiara.

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
8/3/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Silence, Martin Scorsese, novel, Jesuit priest


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scorsese has reportedly involved a number of religious experts in the production. United States Jesuit James Martin, who writes for America magazine, and Renzo de Luca, an Argentine Jesuit who is director of the Museum of the 26 martyrs of Nagasaki, have been sought out for guidance.

"Silence" is an adaptation of an award-winning novel by Shusaku Endo, based on true historical events. The 1966 novel concerns a pair of priests who become persecuted after trying to bring Christianity to Japan in the 17th century. Scorsese has assembled a heavyweight cast, with Liam Neeson and Ken Watanabe alongside Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver. The location of Taiwan was apparently recommended to Scorsese by fellow director Ang Lee.

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Andrew Garfield will play the lead role of Father Sebastian Rodriguez, a character based on an Italian priest named Giuseppe Chiara. "Silence" details Father Rodriguez as he investigates reports that his spiritual mentor, Father Cristóvăo Ferreira (played by Liam Neeson), has committed apostasy.

Garfield has studied Father James Martin's "Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything," an overview of Jesuit life and spirituality in preparation for the role. The actor had been photographed with a copy of the book as he left a New York café with his girlfriend Emma Stone last month.

Garfield has starred in such diverse projects like "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Never Let Me Go" and "The Social Network."

"Silence" is expected to be released around the end of 2015, an ideal spot for films hoping to been nominated for Academy Awards.

"The subject matter is very close to my heart," Scorsese said in an interview earlier this year. "I've been working on it since I first read the book in 1989 . It goes back to growing up in New York, living in an area that was pretty tough, and also the church at the same time. It's similar to 'Mean Streets', in a way. It deals with spiritual matters in a concrete, physical world; a world where invariably the worst of human nature is revealed."

Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" received five Academy Award nominations. "Wolf" became the director's highest grossing film to date.

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