Books like Silence only come around once or twice in a generation. I read it several years ago (my review here), and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Martin Scorsese had a similar experience. He read the book in the ’80s, and it’s haunted him for over thirty years.
When I heard he was adapting it for the screen, I had two thoughts. 1) This book should never be adapted for the screen—it’s too internal, and 2) If anyone’s going to adapt it, Scorsese is the best man for the job.
It’s a story of faith, and doubt, and suffering, in which two Portuguese priests travel to Japan in the 17th century to discover what’s happened to their former mentor amid the mass persecution of Christians taking place in the country. It’s not an easy book to read, and I know it won’t be an easy film to watch. But if the film succeeds at capturing half of the books complexity and thought-provoking questions, it’ll be worth wrestling with.
The film is now showing in wide release, and this Friday we’re encouraging folks to go out and see it. No particular theater. No particular time. No particular city. Just block out a few hours this week to get to the theater and be challenged. And then come back here and let us know what you think. We’d love to host the conversation.
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.