Review: For good or ill, Silence speaks with Scorsese’s voice

David Conrad

David has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin. He loves foreign films, westerns, war flicks, and has read nearly every word J.R.R. Tolkien ever wrote. David lived in Japan for three years and is always eager to talk about it. Follow him on Twitter at @davidaconrad or email him at

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2 Responses

  1. I’m personally an atheist and while the film is explicitly a martyr making story about the power of (the catholic) faith, I viewed the movie (as I am want to do since the election) through the lens of the world I’m concerned we may be on the verge of. The irony that Catholics in Europe and the New World were guilty of their own tortuous bloody violent persecution and harassment of nonbelievers and rebels to the Church at the same time that this film takes place was not lost on me. I saw any group persecuted for whatever system of belief they proscribe to at the hands of a power structure threatened in some way by the very existence of those people. The film stands for me as a parable of anyone facing the choice to betray who they are or what they believe.

    • David Conrad says:

      That’s a nice message to take away from it, though as you know, Scorsese’s been working on Silence for so long that I don’t think any *particular* contemporary political relevance is intended. I suspect he’d claim that there’s a general relevance at all times. I have a hard time rooting for proselytizers of any sort, but neither do I want to root for inquisitors, so I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. Not an uncommon feeling with Scorsese films!