Director: Masahiro Shinoda (Japan – 1971)
An outstanding illustration of the ‘New Wave’ of post-war Japanese cinema, Masahiro Shinoda’s ‘Silence,’ explores the violent, cultural conflict amid the arrival of Jesuit missionaries, Father Rodrigues (David Lampson) and Garrpe (Don Kenny) in seventeenth-century Japan. Noted for its striking imagery, sparse dialogue and unabashed preoccupation with destruction and degradation, the film dissects Western philosophies with nihilistic abandon, as the Priests’ short-lived voyage of spiritual pride slowly bleeds into self-pity. Rendered in a sublime colour palette, courtesy of master cinematographer Kazu Miyagawa, Shinoda paints a fascinating but infuriatingly stoic portrait of fatalistic despair and rampant, social pathology.
Time Out (London) – Issue 1937 – 3rd October 2007 – 93