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[MOTF #94] - Chinmoku (Silence) (Masahiro Shinoda, 1971)

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Oct 17, 2014 5:36 PM

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3251
Title - Chinmoku (Silence)
Director - Masahiro Shinoda
Year of Release - 1971
Duration - 129 minutes
IMDb -

Adapted from the renowned novel by Shusaku Endo, Silence explores the violent cultural conflict amid the arrival of Jesuit missionaries in seventeenth-century Japan. Shinoda's excellent direction coupled with a pensive score by the legendary Toru Takemitsu gives cinematic expression to inner spiritual paradox, and imbues with religious mystery a landscape that seems already sentient with wind, rain, and light. Two Portuguese priests disembark upon an anonymous Japanese shore. Under cover of nightfall, they seek to infiltrate those Christian sects driven underground by a ruthless magistracy, and re-establish the foothold of the Church on the isolated island-nation. Soon, however, the priests find themselves drawn into the mire of persecution, and gradually learn the truth behind the ominous disappearance of another Catholic missionary decades earlier... Rendered in a tender colour palette courtesy of master cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Yojimbo, Ugetsu monogatari), Silence unearths lies and beauty at the intersection of religion and Japanese society.

The film is available in full with English subtitles on both stagevu and asiatorrents and is available on DVD in the UK.
What else ought there be?
Nov 3, 2014 3:47 AM

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1501
Looks interesting Touka, I'll check this one out. The story sort of reminds me of the third season of Rurouni Kenshin. :) Plus you got me with mentioning Kazuo Miyagawa worked on this project and it's Moc release. Good find.
Nov 4, 2014 8:25 AM

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3251
Hey, Orion! Nice to see you around. The synopsis is from the UK DVD; they paint it in a great light with good reason. The cinematography is wonderful. It's a brilliant little gem which is probably going to become a little more popular sometime soon - Martin Scorsese has been wanting to create his own adaptation of the novel for something like a decade. I believe they start filming next year, though it's already been delayed time and time again.
What else ought there be?