The Ultimate Crossroad: The Trouble with "Silence"

She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick.—Flannery O’Connor The mist uncovers Japanese soldiers as well as the grim sight of severed heads by the side of the hot springs where Catholic priests are being tortured. A priest kneels down in horror, almost catatonic, unable to bring himself to believe in the evilness of these men, the men of the Inquisitor. Why are these priests, who came to this “swamp of Japan” to spread the Word of the Lord, suffering so immensely on the hands of these soldiers?To the modern, secular audience, the theme of Silence (2016) is of great irony: the all-powerful Catholic Church, the institution that spread terror across Europe for 700 years with her bonfires and witch hunts and enforcing an almost maddening outlook at faith and personal behavior, comes to an unconquerable land where

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