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Silence (Chinmoku) at Cinémathèque

From: Bill J.
Sent on: Saturday, January 30, 2010 5:22 PM
Silence (Chinmoku): Cin?math?que / ?

Hi movie Friends!

Just wanted to call your attention to a Japanese film we have scheduled for Thursday, February 11th. It?s part of a special Jesuits in Film Series sponsored by John Carroll University: Jesuit Film Series
Actually seeing this film will give us a great reference for a new film by Martin Scorsese that just finished filming in Japan and New Zealand for release later this year. It?s a remake of this 1971, film staring Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis (Nine) and Benicio Del Toro.

Two Jesuit priests, Sebasti?o Rodrigues and Francis Garrpe, travel to seventeenth century Japan under the Shogunate regime (which has isolated itself from all foreign contact) to see how the evangelical mission is going. There they witness the persecution of Japanese Christians at the hands of their own government, which wishes to purge Japan of all western influence. Eventually the priests separate and Rodrigues travels the countryside, wondering why God remains silent while His children suffer.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Genre: Drama
Japan, Japanese with English subtitles

Cin?math?que on Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m.
129 minutes, Color (Eastmancolor)

A little-known but celebrated Japanese film about the persecution of Jesuit missionaries in 17th-century Japan. Based on a novel by Shusaku Endo, the movie follows two Portuguese Jesuits as they infiltrate Japanese Christian communities created by earlier missionaries but which have since been driven underground. The men aspire to re-establish the Church on the isolated island.

Silence has color cinematography by the great Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu, Yojimbo) and music by T?ru Takemitsu. This is the first movie in a six-film series, Jesuits in Film, sponsored by The Cardinal Suenens Center at John Carroll University. The other five movies will show free of charge on the JCU campus.

Informal meal at Presti's or Mama Santa's @ 5 p.m. Please indicate preference. No reservations just a quick meal before the film. Location will be emailed to those responding.

6:30 p.m. at Cin?math?que ? Silence (Chinmoku)
Meet at the entrance door 15 minutes ahead of time or look for the group inside the theater. We will try to save seats in the middle, center ? lower level. The flick is 129 minutes, so expect to be out around 8:45 p.m. You may also meet us afterward outside the entrance door before we walk to the coffee house. If you RSVP and you have a photo posted, we will wait for you.

8:45 p.m. After Film Discussion/Coffee and Desert ? the After-Party @ The University Circle Coffee House.

After the film, we?ll head over to the coffee house, for discussion, coffee and perhaps desert. Formerly Arabica, the coffee house is located at 11300 Juniper Rd (at Ford Avenue),[masked], a short walk from Cinemath?que via the university walkway, aka the alley . If the weather is too bad for walking, they have free parking in the rear. Depending upon our turn-out, you may want to car pool as the parking is limited.


Young Portuguese Jesuit, Sebasti?o Rodrigues (based on the historical figure Giuseppe Chiara) is sent to Japan to succor the local Church and investigate reports that his mentor, Fr. Crist?v?o Ferreira, has committed apostasy. (Ferreira is a historical figure, who apostatized after torture and later became a Zen Buddhist monk and wrote a treatise against Christianity.)

Fr. Rodrigues and his companion Fr. Francisco Garrpe arrive in Japan in 1638. There they find the local Christian population driven underground. Security officials force suspected Christians to trample on fumie, which are crudely carved images of Christ. Those who refuse are imprisoned and killed by anazuri, being hung upside down over a pit and slowly bled. Those Christians who do step on the image to stay hidden are deeply shamed by their act of apostasy. The novel relates the trials of the Christians and increasing hardship suffered by Rodrigues, as more is learnt about the circumstances of Ferreira's apostasy. Finally, Rodrigues is betrayed by the Judas-like Kichijiro. In the climax, as Rodrigues looks upon a fumie, Christ breaks his silence:

"Yet the face was different from that on which the priest had gazed so often in Portugal, in Rome, in Goa and in Macau. It was not Christ whose face was filled with majesty and glory; neither was it a face made beautiful by endurance to pain; nor was it a face with strength of a will that has repelled temptation. The face of the man who then lay at his feet (in the fumie) was sunken and utterly exhausted?The sorrow it had gazed up at him (Rodrigues) as the eyes spoke appealingly: "Trample! Trample! It is to be trampled on by you that I am here."

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