When Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese wanted a theological and cultural advisor to work with in the filming of his latest movie, Silence, he turned to our partner and friend Mako Fujimura.
Based upon the illustrious 1966 novel by Japanese Catholic writer Shūsaku Endō, the film tells the story of 17th century Jesuit missionaries attempting to make inroads for the gospel in Japan, where they experience intense persecution.
Mako is a world-renowned artist, speaker, and writer whose newest book Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering, is a companion piece to Endo’s novel and an extended meditation on faith, suffering, and Japanese culture.
“Makoto Fujimura is a remarkable artist and writer and his engagement with the writings of the great Shūsaku Endō—and Silence in particular—is deep and impassioned, as you will discover on every page of this book,” said Scorsese. “By way of response to a great artist, Fujimura has created a quietly eloquent meditation on art and faith, and where they converge.”
Scorsese has said that the impetus behind this film was, “What does it mean to live a daily Christian life? How does one, if they are not able to or are not clergy, how does one express and live a true Christian life?”
It was a privilege, Mako says, to advise the acclaimed director on such an important project.
“This film truly honors Endō and the martyrs of the Japanese past; it is a profound gift given to the generations to come.”
Mako and Scorsese sat down to talk recently after a screening of Silence at Fuller Seminary’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, where Mako is the director.
Listen to the conversation here:
Read more about Mako and Scorsese’s collaboration here.
Watch the trailer for Silence: