Department of Catholic Studies Presents “Silence”


This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Andrew Garfield, left, and Shinya Tsukamoto in a scene from “Silence.” Photo by Kerry Brown/AP.

By Lauren Finan

Staff Reporter

The 2016 historical period drama film, “Silence,” was presented in the Schine Auditorium on Sunday, April 2 as part of the Department of Catholic Studies’ Film Series. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Adam Driver.

Put together by Professor Elizabeth Piliero, about 20 students and faculty were in attendance and potato chips and popcorn were offered alongside Pepsi soda products in the Schine lobby.

“I believe the event was a success. There was a big turn out and I was thrilled that students and faculty attended,” said Piliero.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Silence” takes place in Japan during 1633. Two Portuguese Catholic Priests, Sebastao Rodrigues and Francisco Garupe, travel to Japan in search of Father Cristovão Ferreira.

The film displays how Father Rodrigues and Father Garupe’s faith are constantly being tested in dangerous situations daily.

“The movie was about a man’s journey into converting people into Christianity through his struggles, pitfalls and letdowns along the way,” said sophomore Sarah Cota. “Father Rodrigues does not let a lot of things stop him. However, at the end he ends up dying which is a disappointment throughout the whole movie.”

Rodrigues was portrayed by Garfield. Throughout the film, the audience witnessed his fear of being captured by the Japanese who were in the process of purging everyone and anyone who practiced the Catholic faith.

“Silence” was originally a novel published in 1966, authored by Shusaku Endo.

“My CIT [Catholic Intellectual Tradition] class had just finished reading the novel and it was perfect timing in the semester to have the event,” said Piliero. “I thought the film brought the novel to life and allowed the students to see an artistic expression of what they read.”

Cota was interested in viewing the film after she read the novel in class.

“I liked the depictions of the characters portrayed in the movie and how it showed the viewer a scene of how one’s faith can influence their actions,” said Cota. “His powerful and strong willed actions made the main character very noble and kept me interested throughout his pitfalls.”

Catholic Studies Professor Daniel Rober said that “Silence” deals with the Catholic themes that are discussed in the CIT courses.

“The film is important because it brings forward concerns from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in a mainstream movie,” said Rober. “Most importantly of all though, it is a film that ought to raise questions for people about what they would do in the situation faced by the characters in it.”

“Silence” portrays how to find God while enduring suffering. Father Rodrigues was battling hardship while speaking to God asking for strength, as well as questioning why him and the other Catholics had to suffer.

“I thought the movie was very realistic in the way that the character’s portrayed themselves,” said Cota. “Specifically, the scene with three people on the cross over the ocean was very realistic and powerful in its portrayal of Christianity in the movie.”


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