Martin Scorsese Ready to Wrap Silence in Taiwan
Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the novel by Japanese author Shusaku Endo, is due to wrap after some 14 weeks of photography in Taipai. It caused a major controversy in Japan following its publication in 1967. A Japanese Catholic, Endo tells the story of two seventeenth-century missionaries attempting to shore up the oppressed Japanese Christian movement. Father Rodrigues has come to Japan to find the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. But after his arrival he discovers that the only way to help the brutally persecuted Christians may be to apostatize himself.
At a press event in Taipei on Monday, Scorsese spoke of the long journey to making the film, which is based on Shusaku Endo’s novel “Silence” about God’s silence in the face of human suffering. Scorsese had prepared a draft of the screenplay as early as 1992, but said that the origins were deeper still.
“The subject matter presented by Shusaku Endo was in my life since I was very, very young. I was very much involved in religion, I was raised in a strong Catholic family,” Scorsese said.
While the book is set in 17th century Japan, Scorsese located the production in Taiwan, following an introduction by Ang Lee. It was entirely shot in the territory with various locations in Taipei (Yangmingshan, CMPC Studio and the Beitou area), as well as Taichung and Hualien.
“I’m known for making films that are urban, that take place mainly in apartments, hotels, bars or churches, for the most part, but to be able to sit and watch a scene with birds and animals has been an immersion into another world,” Scorsese said.
The cast includes Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Japanese star Asano Tadanobu (“Thor,” “Battleship”). “It kind of feels like we live here now,” said Garfield, wearing a coat he had purchased in a local night market.