SILENCE

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Silence is brutal but not without meaning and poignancy. In the 1600s, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in secret to find their missing mentor who supposedly renounced Christianity to avoid torture. As they move covertly from village to village, they practice on the suppressed Japanese Christians, absolving sins and baptizing the devout. The movie is chock full of unpleasant torture scenes but it's worth the watch for Andrew Garfield’s performance. His total immersion into the character pardons his inconsistent Portuguese accent.  His agony is the audience’s agony and his internal struggles read clearly in every prolonged close-up. Garfield’s representation of a priest’s battle to maintain his faith amidst unbearable conditions is inspiring and thought-provoking.