14 February 2007 | jacquesf-1
A very deep reflection of religion, faith and sacrifice
"Chinmoku" is a movie about two Portuguese missionaries that come to Japan to spread their faith at a time when, after a long period of flourishing, Christianism finds itself forbidden in Japan. The main character, padre Rodrigues, is eventually captured, imprisoned and tortured in an attempt to make him deny his faith in an act - however purely formal - of treading on a holy image.
But that is not the most important thing to the film. Although I did not find it as emotionally strong as I expected (but don't misunderstand me, it still is very moving) and rather slow-paced, maybe even a little boring in the beginning, it actually turned out very deep in the end, leaving in me a lot of questions... After starting in a tone which clearly shows the Christians as good people unjustly persecuted by the cruel Japanese government, you will slowly realize, during the first discussions between Rodrigues and his judges, that the problem is far from being that simple, and by the time Padre Ferreiro, whom the Japanese made deny his faith, enters the scene... I'm not able to tell which side you'll be on, but you'll be definitely asking yourself a lot of questions about how far should one go in defending one's faith, whether the weak that rather tread on the holy image than die really deserve nothing but contempt and, most of all, whether it is right when other people suffer because of YOUR religion...
If you liked Bergman's "The Seventh Seal", this one's definitely a must-see!!!