The plot of Martin Scorsese’s Silence—his epic based on Shūsaku Endō’s novel of the same name—hinges around the search for Portuguese missionary Father Ferreira, played by Liam Neeson. With the film set to be released nationwide this weekend, The A.V. Club has an exclusive featurette which delves into the role and Neeson’s work. “He brought an extraordinary dedication,” Scorsese says of the actor, with whom he previously collaborated on Gangs Of New York.
Silence takes place in the 17th Century and follows a pair of Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver), who venture into Japan, where Christianity is outlawed, to look for Ferreira upon having heard that he has renounced his faith. In our review, The A.V. Club wrote that the movie “is slow and solemn in stretches and often remote, but it rewards patience with a transcendent epilogue that departs from the main character’s point-of-view to find a glimmer of meaning.”
As Neeson explains here, Father Ferreira was a real historical figure. He adds that Scorsese’s passion project tackles universal spiritual queries. “It’s a question we all ask,” Neeson says. “Why are we here? Is there somebody up there? And the film more than touches on all that.” Silence, which is already out in limited release, opens wide January 13.