Scors­ese film about Ja­pan’s hid­den Chris­tians out for Christ­mas

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Os­car-win­ning di­rec­tor Martin Scors­ese told an au­di­ence in Tokyo yes­ter­day his long-awaited film about the per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians in 17th cen­tury Ja­pan will hit the big screen just be­fore Christ­mas. The film­maker, known for hits in­clud­ing Taxi Driver, Good­fel­las, and The Wolf of Wall Street, said his lat­est film “Si­lence” be re­leased for a lim­ited run in the United States on De­cem­ber 23 — putting it in pos­si­ble con­tention for an Os­car nom­i­na­tion. The movie’s re­lease, orig­i­nally slated for last year, as been de­layed sev­eral times, in­clud­ing after an on-set ac­ci­dent killed a con­struc­tion worker and in­jured sev­eral oth­ers.

Scors­ese, who picked up an Os­car for The De­parted in 2007, made the an­nounce­ment at a press brief­ing in Tokyo where he is to re­ceive Ja­pan’s big­gest arts award, the Praemium Im­pe­ri­ale, at a cer­e­mony later this week. The film is based on the 1966 novel by famed Ja­panese nov­el­ist Shusaku Endo, which tells the story of a young, ide­al­is­tic Je­suit priest from Por­tu­gal who lands on the shores of Na­gasaki in south­ern Ja­pan-then the only part of the coun­try open to for­eign­ers. The novel, ti­tled “Chin­moku” (“Si­lence”), de­picts se­vere per­se­cu­tion in­flicted on con­verts to Chris­tian­ity-many of whom were im­pov­er­ished vil­lagers forced into hid­ing. The Chris­tians came out of the shad­ows when Ja­pan ended two hun­dred years of self-im­posed iso­la­tion in the 1860s.

Be­fore film­ing, Scors­ese-who said he has wanted to do the film for over a quar­ter cen­tury-vis­ited the ar­eas men­tioned in the book and in­ter­viewed de­scen­dants of these so-called hid­den Chris­tians. “What came out of that for me was the extraordinary power and sac­ri­fice, the com­mit­ment and con­vic­tion of their an­ces­tors who were mar­tyrs to the faith,” he said yes­ter­day. “For me this was al­most like meet­ing one of the hid­den Chris­tians from the 17th cen­tury and it changed my per­cep­tion of how to deal with those scenes and the char­ac­ters,” he added.

The film stars Andrew Garfield, Liam Nee­son, Adam Driver and Ja­panese ac­tor Tadanobu Asano. Scors­ese is one of five re­cip­i­ents of the Praemium Im­pe­ri­ale this year, which also hon­ors Amer­i­can artist Cindy Sher­man, French sculp­tor An­nette Mes­sager, Brazil­ian ar­chi­tect Paulo Men­des da Rocha and Lat­vian vi­o­lin­ist Gi­don Kre­mer. — AFP

— AFP pho­tos.

(From left) US pho­tog­ra­pher Cindy Sher­man, US di­rec­tor Martin Scors­ese, French sculp­tor An­nette Mes­sager and Lat­vian-Ger­man mu­si­cian Gi­don Kre­mer, win­ners of the 28th Praemium Im­pe­ri­ale award, pose dur­ing a photo call after a joint press con­fer­ence in Tokyo yes­ter­day.

US di­rec­tor Martin Scors­ese, win­ner of the 28th Praemium Im­pe­ri­ale award, smiles dur­ing a joint press con­fer­ence.

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