How do the movies Silence (2016) and Luther (1973) encourage intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral illustrations of fundamental beliefs

Subject: 🎨 Art
Type: Critical Analysis Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 924
Topics: 🎞️ Film Analysis, ✝️ Christianity
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The illustration and encouragement of the fundamental Christian beliefs is eminent in the Silence (2016) and Luther (1973) movies. In the movie Silence (2016), the encouragement of fundamental Christian beliefs occurs especially in relation to the depiction of the prevalence of the Christian principles of selflessness, self-sacrifice and suffering for Christ. The film, Silence (2016), follows the journey of two catholic priest who venture into Japan in search of one of their mentors, Father Ferreira, who had gone to spread Christianity in Japan, but has since recanted the faith. Father Garupe and Father Rodrigues could not understand how the man who had initiated them into the Catholic faith could eventually apostatize. The Christian principles of selflessness and self-sacrifice have been demonstrated by Father Garupe, who despite the suffering he experiences throughout the journey, remains steadfast as a Christian believer and dies for it. Father Garupe, just like Father Ferreira and Father Rodrigues, was required to recant his faith not only as a way of saving his life, but also saving the lives of the other Japanese Christian believers from being tortured to death (Scorsese, n.p.). Despite facing the strong conflict of whether to recant his faith for the sake of saving the lives of the Japanese Christians just like his fellow priests did, Father Garupe stays the course, withstands the suffering and finally drowns to death trying to save the last of the Christian prisoner drowned by the Japanese authorities.

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On the other hand, the Christian principle of suffering for Christ has been depicted in the film Silence (2016), by the actions of the Japanese Christian prisoners. The Japanese who have embraced the Christian faith are often pursued, arrested, tortured and finally drowned to death, after which their bodies are cremated so that they do not receive a proper Christian burial (Scorsese, n.p.). The Christian principle of suffering for Christ requires that Christians should persevere through any kind of painful suffering for the sake of defending their faith in Christ, even to the point of dying for it (Gordon and Eifler, 47). The Japanese Christians have demonstrated this Christian principle, because they have opted to take up a religion that is considered anathema in the country and stick with it, despite the painful suffering and torture they undergo.

Equally, the film Luther (1973) depicts the encouragement of the fundamental Christian beliefs through the prevalence of the fundamental Christian belief principles of prayerfulness, self-sacrifice and persecution for Christ. Luther is the clergy in this film who has to suffer persecution because he has refused to recant his core Christian belief against corruption and immorality of both the church and the empire. Luther is persecuted through being brought before a council of the church authority to recant his statements against the church and the empire. After being urged to recant his accusations against the church and the empire royalty, Luther refuses to recant, and the outcome is that he is held as a prisoner in a cell. Luther is not only chastised by the empire royalty for his stand on the corrupt conduct of the empire and the church, but also by the highest authority of the Church, the Pope in Rome. The principles of selflessness and persecution for Christ are demonstrated through the suffering that Luther undergo from both the church and the empire, simply for standing steadfast in the true Christianity belief against corruption (Green, n.p.). Luther’s selflessness and will to suffer for Christ enables the truth about God to spread to the peasants and inspires the peasant to revolt against the church and the empire.

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On the other hand, the principle of prayerfulness has been demonstrated as one of the core factors that gives Christians strength at a time of high personal mental and emotional turmoil (Gordon and Eifler, 36). Luther always turns into prayer wen things become difficult, and through prayerfulness and seeking answers from God, he gets both the strength and guidance on difficult and challenging matters. For example, after Luther had been worn-out by the demands to recant his accusations of the church and empire on corruption, he turned into prayer, and God gave him the guidance and strength to stand by the truth and not recant (Green, n.p.). Thus, in the film Luther (1973), prayerfulness is therefore depicted as a core Christian principle that enables believers to overcome all difficulties and find peace with God.

Further, the Silence (2016) and Luther (1973) movies were truly realistic in their representations of Christian beliefs. The realistic representations of the core Christian beliefs in the two movies stems from the fact that they have demonstrated that doubt the great test that all Christian believers have to overcome. The two films have demonstrated that even for those teaching the Christian religion, faith is never absolute, and there will always been times of doubt for Christians. The films have demonstrated that in times if difficulties, Christians will always have doubt on God’s intention and power. In the film Silence (2016) doubt reigns supreme for all the clergy involved with Christianity in Japan, where the Catholic priests keep doubting whether God is in favor of their recanting the faith to save the lives of the Japanese Christians being persecuted. Similarly, in the film Luther (1973), the clergy has his fair share of doubt on the best cause of action on the conflict of the church and empires corruption. Nevertheless, the films have demonstrated that holding steadfast to the Christian principles even when in doubt, Christians will always overcome the challenges.

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  1. Gordon, Charles B. and Karen E. Eifler. Bringing Eyes of Faith to Film: Using Popular Movies to Cultivate a Sacramental Imagination and Improve Media Literacy in Adolescents. Catholic Education :(2011), 28-51. Print.
  2. Green, Guy. Dir. Luther. American Film Theatre, 1973. [Film].
  3. Scorsese, Martin. Dir. Silence. Paramount Pictures, 2016. [Film].
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