Silence is a film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based upon the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. Although the story is set in Nagasaki, Japan, the film was shot entirely on location in Taiwan in and around Taipei. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Ciarán Hinds. The plot follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan to locate their missing mentor and spread Catholicism.
At St. Paul’s College, Macau, Portuguese Jesuit priest Alessandro Valignano receives news that Father Cristóvão Ferreira in Japan renounced his faith after being tortured. Ferreira’s pupils, Father Sebastião Rodrigues and Father Francisco Garupe, disbelieving he would commit such apostacy, set off to find him. Kichijiro, an alcoholic fisherman who fled Japan (later revealed to be a Christian who renounced his faith to save himself), agrees to guide them. At the Japanese village of Tomogi, the priests are surprised to find local Christian populations driven underground. They eagerly welcome the priests, who administer long-awaited sacraments to them. A samurai searching for suspected Christians, whom the villagers refer to as “the inquisitor“, straps some of the villagers to wooden crosses on the beach and places them in the ocean, where the tide eventually kills them. The bodies are then cremated on a funeral pyre so that they cannot be given a Christian burial.
Garupe leaves for Hirado Island, believing that their presence forces the shogunate to terrorize the village. Rodrigues goes to Gotō Island, the last place Ferreira lived, only to find it destroyed. Wandering around Gotō, he struggles over whether it is self-centered and unmerciful to refuse to recant when doing so will end others’ suffering. He eventually reunites with Kichijiro, who betrays him into the hands of the samurai. An old samurai, who had earlier accompanied the inquisitor to Tomogi, tells Rodrigues that other captured Christians will suffer unless he commits apostasy.