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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Silence (AKA Chinmoku) (Masters of Cinema) [DVD] [1971]
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on 26 September 2017
Very atmospheric and excellent all round. Much better than the Martin Scorcese recent version which I found dull . Why cannot the original be left standing??
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on 19 May 2017
excellent Japanese film.
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on 12 March 2014
I purchased this DVD simply because I have had the book of the same name for a long time. I was interested in seeing how its transposition onto film was achieved. I was not surprised to discover that although the film is very good, the essence of the pain and sorrow that the writer masterfully portrayed in his book did not and probably could not be transposed onto a screen.
The film is worth buying but watch it before you read his book. But do buy the book. It will disturb you and will take you into the realms of good and very deep drama in a way that can only be received through the written word. The silence is absolutely deafening.
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on 11 October 2017
If you're a Catholic, this film is about 'brave' [brain-washed, more like] priests spreading the 'Latin' word. If, like meeself, you is a dumb Atheist, this film is about cultural colonisation, and the understandible counter-reaction it met.
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on 3 September 2013
I would have liked to rate 5 stars. In the bonus of the french wonderful Shinoda's DVD "Assassinat", Shinoda explain how the modernization of Japan during Meiji was necessary to fight again the modern weapons of American attack. But how in the same times this modernization was mingled with confusion in the political ideology of Japan. Feodality against a kind of cruel religious unity around emperor.In this confusion some men became christian priest."Silence" takes place one or one and and a half century before. Christian Jesuit arrive in Japan and convert Japanese people in country land. The local power fight against them. They killed them. The topic is of utter importance. Unfortunately, the images of the movie are quite old and it is very difficult to see the movie beyond this bad quality ( I hate that kind of point of view, but it is really difficult to go beyond that).The rhythm is very slow. Not the strength of Kurosawa's "Seven Samourais". I am very sad because I like so much Shinoda's movie. But...
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on 30 March 2010
This is a wonderful film about the clash of Japanese and European cultures in the 15th century (or is it 16th?). Not a lot happens in the movie so I'm not sure what else I can say without spoiling it. Nevertheless, I recommend it to all fans of Japanese cinema.
There is also an excellent little booklet that comes with the DVD.
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on 16 April 2009
A great film of humanity, belief and betrayal, but could history really teach us anything to avoid the same tragedy from happening again?
For a DVD like this one, Moc has definitely done their best, simply the two historical texts worth the price, without any problem, they enforced my realization of the history background and brought out my better understanding of the related history. Besides, there's the IMMACULATE film, almost in restored, breathtaking HD image quality. For Japanese film fans, it's a must, for both the film itself and the disc production.
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on 28 December 2016
I am not a reviewer, nor a student of Japanese culture and literature, but I decided to see this film before Martin Scorsese's version appears. Shock was the greatest emotion for me - not because of the cruelty - but because of the turmoils of the leading character. This is in no way a Christmas movie, although the filmography is legendary. It is evident that the original novel in Japanese is eminently superior. More questions than answers. The conflict remains between the stalwart Japanese Christians and the temptations of the Jesuit priest. I can say no more except be warned for this film contains much torture both physical and mental.
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on 10 July 2015
Did I expect too much ? I read the original novel by Shusaku Endo many years ago.
It is one of the best books that Japanese literature ever produced since WWII.
This movie has no insight with just superficial depiction of the meaningful events.
I strongly recommend viewers to read the original in English or French translation.
(I am a Japanese resident in Osaka, Japan)
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on 19 November 2010
This is a great historical film that plays out a little like a Japanese Wicker Man.
Two zealous Portuguese Jesuit missionaries arrive in 17th Century Japan, determined to convert yet more local heathens to the 'true' religion of Christianity.

Little do they seem to realise how intent the Japanese authorities are on preventing this foreign and unwanted religion taking hold on their shores. The Japanese already have their own gods that they're perfectly happy with.

Of course the Jesuit priests have no interest in these 'false' gods and are intent on converting the Japanese people to the 'true' one. This puts them on a collision course with the local magistrate, who is determined not to let this alien faith take root in his country, and will torture any Christians he finds until they apostatise.

Whilst the torture of anyone refusing to renounce Christianity might seem a little harsh to modern eyes, one must remember that anyone professing non-Christian or heretical beliefs in 17th Century Europe would have been tortured and executed at least as brutally by the same Catholic priests that suffered as missionaries in Japan.

All in all, this is a stunningly shot film with beautiful locations and a brilliant storyline. It portrays both the suppression of Christianity in Japan, but also the zealotry and arrogance of the Christians and the reasons why Christianity was suppressed.
Well worth watching. The only detraction is the appearance of another Portuguese priest later on in the film, it looks like they cast a Japanese actor with bad make-up in the role, rather than using a Western actor.
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