Scorsese film ‘Silence’ illustrates Christian need to go inward with faith
Jeff Brumley Baptist News
The Los Angeles Times called Silence “a film for the ages,” while Variety described it as “undeniably gorgeous. A remarkable achievement.”
But the latest film by Martin Scorsese, currently in theaters, is more than that, says Michael Sciretti Jr., a minister and teacher with the Epiphany Institute, which seeks to revive Baptist spirituality through contemplative practices.
“It’s such a difficult movie,” Sciretti said of Silence, which stars Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as Jesuit priests seeking their lost mentor, Leam Neeson, in a very hostile Japan in 1639.
All three men, and many of the Japanese Christians they encounter, are put to severe persecution.
“It’s tragic on many levels,” he said.
And Sciretti said he sees much in the film that can benefit Christians today. He shared his thoughts about the film with Baptist News Global.
Silence is set in an exotic time and place. But does it speak in some ways to the Christian struggle today?
I couldn’t help but filter it through my own work and to make a distinction between exterior Christianity and interior Christianity — and moving from a transactional understanding of Christ and his teaching to more of a transformational way of thinking of Christ. That is very much where we are today. There are these cultural, external aspects of Christianity we cling to, and we think these are the truth. Jesus was always pushing against that. I think we have to illuminate internal Christianity … as a path of transformation.
Would you recommend this film for anyone?
It’s a hard movie. It’s good to recommend it to someone who would have someone to talk about it afterward. If I was going to recommend it to students, I would want to have some time to debrief about it and see where they relate and where they don’t relate. I really want them to struggle with the realities of these external aspects of Christianity. It would be interesting for people to reflect on who they most identify with [in the film] and why, and move and grow beyond that particular form of faith.
Did Silence come across as a particularly Catholic film to you?
It definitely goes beyond Catholicism. Both Liam Neeson’s character and Andrew Garfield‘s character move … into a very interior faith. In some ways it could be a critique of western Christianity, because that led to all this suffering. I don’t think it’s a film that glamorizes Catholic Christianity, but it’s a movie that can cause Christians, no matter what their particular denomination is, to ask, “What form of Christianity I am living and how might I grow?”
What did you find spiritually inspiring or useful in the film?
I think it’s where the voice of Jesus is coming out of the silence saying it’s OK to step on this image and that having so much veneration for a thing of clay is not what’s important. But it takes discernment to determine what’s important. It takes discernment to determine what the external husk is and what the internal essence is.
- Harry and Meghan chose Bible verse for sermon: Bishop
- #MeToo takes down Southern Baptist president
- In Britain, thousands of children referred to transsexual clinic
- ‘Jesus Culture’ Worship Leader Sings the Blues Away
- Euthanasia goes against core belief that death and dying is natural’: Palliative care experts
How to Discover Your Destiny
We all want to know our destiny don’t we? We all want to know what we were put on this earth for; what God made us to do; what God has in store for...
Parenting in the Digital Age: The Twelve Essential Tips
Who is iGen? Kids between the ages of 6 and 23 fall into a generation now getting labeled Post-Millennial or Gen Z or iGen. I want to introduce you...
Billy Graham’s Will Released to Public
The will of one of the great evangelists of our time, Rev. Billy Graham, has been released to the public. In the 16-page document, Rev. Graham uses...
The Three Accidents That Did Not Happen at Your Church
If you are the pastor I met in Richmond, Virginia recently, thank you. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your...
It took 1000 coffees, but you've ﬁnished your book...
So where to now?
That's where we come in.
We have a team of publishing professionals ready to help you bring your book from your laptop to the world.
We offer cover design, typeset, eBook conversion, and competitive print prices. Oh and you'll also be on Amazon and thousands of websites worldwide.
Let us help you take the next step.LEARN MORE