Silence: Martin Scorsese's film adaptation to have world premiere at the Vatican

His 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ was criticised by various Christian groups

Jack Shepherd
Friday 25 November 2016 16:34 GMT
Liam Neeson in ‘Silence’, a film that was a passion project for director Scorsese
Liam Neeson in ‘Silence’, a film that was a passion project for director Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s 1988 religious epic The Last Temptation of Christ was once described by Mother Angelica as "a holocaust movie that has the power to destroy souls eternally”.

That film’s story centred on Jesus - played by Willem Dafoe - as he batted away temptations such as fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust.

Despite the controversy surrounding his previous religion-focussed film, Scorsese’s upcoming drama, Silence, will have its world premiere at the Vatican on Tuesday.

According to The Guardian, Pope Francis is not expected to attend the screening at the Pontifical Oriental Institute for the Jesuits. Instead, 400 priests and other guests will watch along with Scorsese.

Silence - Trailer

The film - based on the book of the same name by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō - centres on two Jesuit missionaries sent to Japan in the time of Kakure Kirishitan (“Hidden Christians”) when Christians were persecuted for their belief.

To get into character, lead actors Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver were mentored by a Jesuit, who helped the pair get into character by leading them in seven days of total silence in Wales.

Previous reports detailed how Silence would be Scorsese’s longest film to date: this has since been proven false, as the final cut only spans 159 minutes.

Silence - the trailer for which was released yesterday - opens in UK cinemas on 1 January.

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