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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

"Silence," a film by Martin Scorsese

film screening and panel discussion


Date: Friday, March 24
Location: Higgins 300

FILM SCREENING: 3:00 - 5:45pm

Martin Scorsese’s epic movie "Silence" follows two seventeenth-century Jesuit missionaries as they travel from Portugal to Japan in search of their missing mentor, who is believed to have rejected Christ under torture. Based on Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 award-winning novel, Scorsese’s film delves deeply into the nature of culture, faith, and mercy. 

PANEL DISCUSSION: 6:00 - 7:30pm

Following a short break (with refreshments), a panel of international scholars will discuss the film and its central themes. The panel will include Richard Blake, S.J., a scholar of Jesuit Spirituality and Catholicism in cinema, Robert Maryks, a scholar of Jesuits in film, and Hitomi Omata Rappo, a scholar of Jesuit missionaries in Japan, who will be joined by others for a lively discussion.

Father Blake

Father Richard Blake, S.J. teaches American film history and criticism. During and after his years as executive editor of America magazine, a national weekly journal of opinion, he served as regular film reviewer. His academic research has focused on religious themes and imagery in popular American films and on the influence of New York City on Hollywood production. While at Boston College, he edited the scholarly quarterly, Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits for twelve years. His recent publications include Afterimage: The Indelible Catholic Imagination in the Works of Six American Film Makers, Woody Allen: Profane and Sacred, Screening America: Reflections of Five Classic Films, and Street Smart: The New York of Lumet, Allen, Scorsese and Lee. You can read his film reviews in America on their website

Robert Maryks

Robert Maryks is associate professor of history, and associate director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College. He received his Ph.D. in history from Fordham University, an STP from the Pontificia Facoltà Teologica in theology, and an M.A. from the University of Warsaw in classics. Maryks's major area of research and teaching is the history of the Society of Jesus. He has published on various aspects of the history of the Jesuits, including Saint Cicero and the Jesuits (Ashgate, 2008), The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews (Brill, 2009), Pouring Jewish Water into Fascist Wine (Brill, 2011), “The Tragic Couple”: Encounters Between Jews and Jesuits (Brill, 2013; co-edited with James Bernauer), A Companion to Ignatius of Loyola (Brill, 2014), and Jesuit Survival and Restoration (co-edited with Jonathan Wright). He also teaches a course on the representation of Jesuits in film.

Hitomi Omato Rappo

Hitomi Omata Rappo is a visiting researcher at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, under a postdoctoral fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation. She received doctorate degrees in history from École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, as well as from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). She also holds a M.A. in Asian studies and B.A. in art history from the University of Tokyo. In her doctoral dissertation, she analyzed how the images of Japanese “martyrs,” recorded first in missionaries’ reports, were reproduced in the hagiographic literature in Europe, and diffused as a popular theme of the Jesuit school drama in Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and Switzerland. Currently, she is working on a book called From the distant Indies to the scenes of colleges: the reflections of the Japanese Martyrs in Europe (16th-18th century), which will be published by Cerf (Paris) and Aschendorff (Münster).

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The Huffington Post's review of the film, "Silence" can be found here.