Silence isn’t the first occasion when the director’s obsession with religion has been at the fore.
Martin Scorsese is not only one of the greatest living filmmakers but one of the most religiously astute storytellers working today. His latest, Silence, sees the 74-year-old director reconnect with his religious roots following the greed-fuelled reveries of The Wolf of Wall Street. Before choosing the cinema, Scorsese gave serious consideration to the path of priesthood, which explains the unashamed references to Catholicism in his films. In the opening scene of Mean Streets, Charlie (Harvey Keitel) says, “You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.”
Like Charlie, Scorsese steps outside of the church, yet unlike his hero-in-crisis, the cinema becomes the place where he interacts with and makes peace with his faith. In the early part of his career, specifically Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The King of Comedy, Scorsese forged a direct link between art and religion by reframing certain holy archetypes. And just as in the Bible, this act of reimagining is filled with bloodshed and violence…
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