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Scorsese’s Silence falls at the last hurdle

When the theological ambiguity disappears, so does the film’s appeal

By Sameer Rahim  

Liam Neeson plays Ferreira, a Jesuit missionary turned Buddhist ©Kerry Brown

Few Hollywood films have the courage to tackle a religious crisis. Even a director as eminent as Martin Scorsese has taken years—28 to be precise—to get the funding to adapt Shusaku Endo’s superb 1966 novel Silence. The story of Christian missionaries being persecuted in 17th-century Japan was evidently thought to have little popular…

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