Silence (2016) Script

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

1633, pax Christi, praised be God.

Although for us, there is little peace in this land now.

I never knew Japan when it was a country of light, but I have never known it to be as dark as it is now.

All our progress has ended.

A new persecution, new repression, new suffering.

They use ladles filled with holes, so the drops would come out slowly and the pain would be prolonged.

Each small splash of the water was like a burning coal.

The Governor of Nagasaki took four friars and one of our own society to Unzen.

There are hot springs there.

The Japanese call them "hells," partly, I think, in mockery and partly, I must tell you, in truth.

The officials told our padres to abandon God and the gospel of His love.

But they not only refused to apostatize, they asked to be tortured, so they could demonstrate the strength of their faith and the presence of God within them.

Some remained on the mountain for 33 days.

The story of their courage gives hope to those of us priests who remain here in secret.

We will not abandon our hidden Christians

- who live in fear. "...who live in fear."

We only grow stronger in His love.

Ferreira is lost to us.

This was his last letter.

Why lost?

This letter came to us when we were traveling from Portugal.

It took years to reach us.

It was hidden, smuggled, ransomed.

Finally, put into my hand by a Dutch trader, who had other news as well.

He's alive?

That he apostatized, that he denounced God in public and surrendered the faith, and is now living as a Japanese.

That's not possible.

Father Ferreira risked his life to spread our faith all over Japan.

We're here today because of him.

Yes. He was...

He's the strongest of us.

He wrote those words during the most sweeping persecution of all.

Now, things are even worse.

Thousands are dead because of what we brought them.

Thousands more have given up the faith.

You said this trader brought news, but it's not proven, is it?

It could be a slander created to further discredit our faith.

Given the extent of the persecution in that country...

Yes. But, respectfully, there must be multitudes there who need us, too. And the fact, there has been no other word of him, and the news brought by the Dutch...

Rumor, Father, only.

I must conclude it is true.

If it is true, Father, what would it mean for the Jesuits?

For the whole of Catholic Europe?

It seems to me that our mission here is more urgent than ever.

We must go find Father Ferreira.

I cannot allow that.

How... How can we abandon our mission?

Your mission, Father Garupe, was to find word of Ferreira.

You have found it.

Excuse me, Father, but this letter relates the most terrible history, but it says nothing of Ferreira himself.

Whatever happened to him is still unknown.

All that we know of his fate, is this one slander.

Permit me, Father Valignano, but...

I... I believe our mission still stands.

Do you know how many Christians the authorities executed in Shimabara?

Thousands.

Tens of thousands, most of them beheaded.

No, it's far too dangerous for you.

Yes, but, Father, how do we neglect the man that nurtured us in the faith?

He shaped the world for us.

And even if the slander should be true, then Father Ferreira is damned.

Yes.

We have no choice, but to save his soul.

This is in your hearts, then? Both of you?

Yes. It is.

Like our first fervor.

Then I must trust God has put it there.

He calls you to a great trial.

The moment you set foot in that country, you step into high danger.

You will be the last two priests to go.

An army of two.

May 25th, 1640.

Pax Christi...

God be praised.

Father Valignano, as I begin these lines, I cannot be sure that when they are done they will ever reach you.

But I want to maintain your confidence in our mission and vindicate your faith in us.

Careful.

Today, there was wonderful news.

Your Mr. Chun has found us a Chinese boat.

It will smuggle us into Japan.

And he claims he's found the only Japanese in Macau, to be our most valued guide in that country.

Come on, this way.

Finally, we meet our first Japanese.

He's not much, you will see.

But after almost two months, he's the only one.

Hey.

Hey, wake up.

Come on, get up.

He was drifting on sea, Portuguese bring him.

He's stuck here, wants to go home.

Is he... Are you really Japanese?

Answer them, you fool.

These are padres.

Kichijiro!

You fool, they will take you home!

Where is your home?

Nagasaki.

What's your work?

He will do what you say.

Fisherman.

You know our language?

Little.

Yes. Little.

You learned it from the Jesuit padres.

You must have, so you're Christian?

No!

No Christian.

Good guide for you. He's Christian, too.

I'm not Christian!

Christian die!

They...

They die in Nagasaki.

Listen to me.

We have money.

If you can help us, we can take you home.

We can take you home to Japan.

Would you like to go home to Japan?

I want...

I want to go home.

Not for money.

Japan is the country of my family!

I beg you.

Don't abandon me here, Father.

Please!

Take me home.

He will be good guide.

Promise me.

I'll clean him up. They take me home!

Promise me.

Our guide...

He can't be Christian.

He says he's not, but can you believe anything he says?

I don't even want to believe he's Japanese.

And He said to them, "Go ye into the whole world

"and preach the gospel to every living creature, "even to one such as this."

So our Lord commanded, and as I prepare to do His work, I see His face before me.

He looks as He must have when He commanded Peter, "Feed my lambs, "feed my lambs, feed my sheep."

It fascinates me.

I feel such great love for it.

Garupe and I had absolutely no luggage to bring to Japan, except our own hearts.

And during the calm and storm of the voyage, I reflected upon the 20 years which has passed since the persecution has broken out.

The black soil of Japan is filled with the wailing of so many Christians.

The red blood of priests has flowed profusely.

The walls of the churches have fallen down.

Shaba.

We've trusted that man with our lives.

Jesus trusted even worse.

Hurry.

Come.

Here, here!

Kichijiro, where are you going?

Kichijiro!

He's going to betray us.

Kichijiro!

Fact is fact. What you will do, do quickly.


Padre?

Hurry. We have no time.

No time! Come, come, come.

What is this place?

Tomogi place.

Japan? Please be quick!

So gentiles cannot see you. So, come.

Gentiles? Yes.

Come, come. Quickly!

Quick!

Come!

I'm sorry, Padre.

Too dangerous. There are more executions than ever.

If they know we're Christian, we will be killed.

The Lord hears you.

Yes.

He sent you to us.

Please.

Please. Enter, enter.

Oh. Thank you.

We have little food, if you'd like.

You will be safe here until morning.

Sit, sit! Please.

Oh. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

How do you live like this?

I mean, how do you live as Christians when the danger is so great?

You understand?

We pray in secret, but we have our Jiisama.

- Jiisama? Jiisama.

Jiisama.

Who is the Jiisama?

You lead them?

You lead the village?

In prayer, in devotions? - Padre, too.

The only sacrament he can perform is baptism.

We worship with the Jiisama.

We hide the Christian images.

Amen.

But God still sees us.

Yes? Yes.

Even though we do not have a priest until now.

Ah! Please eat!

Please eat.

Thank you.

Amen.

Every Christian here is part of our secret church.

This... This faith...

This faith you have is so strong.

You have such courage.

Is it only here that there is such faith or in other villages, too?

We do not know about other villages.

We never go there.

Mmm, you don't go?

Other villages are so dangerous.

You do not know who to trust.

Everyone fears the Inquisitor Inoue-sama.

Inform on Christian, and they give you 100 pieces of silver.

200 for a Christian brother.

And for a priest, 300.

Three hundred?

You must go to the other villages.

You must let them know that priests are here again.

That we are here in Japan, again, it will be good.

There was a, um, a padre, who was here called Ferreira.

Father Ferreira.

Have you heard of him?

Like us.

No. No?

You do not eat?

It is you who feed us.


They do not dare take us anywhere by the main road.

To hide like this must be a terrible burden.

I was overwhelmed by the love I felt from these people, even though their faces couldn't show it.

Long years of secrecy have made their faces into masks.

Why do they have to suffer so much?

Why did God make them to bear such a burden?

This is the safest here.

This hut for making charcoal.

When you hear this sound...

It will be us.

If you hear anything else...

Hide.

During the day, we keep the door of our hut tightly closed and refrain from the slightest noise lest anyone passing outside may hear it.

Only the dark makes it safe for us to go down into the village and minister to the faithful.

Padre!

Please!

Finally, they had priests to forgive their sins.

Bless me, Padre, for I have sinned.

Confession. I have sinned.

We heard their confessions all night.

But then, Padre...

Even though we could not always be sure what was being confessed.

And now, Christianity brought love.

The dignity for the first time of being treated like God's creatures, not animals.

And the promise that all their suffering would not end in nothingness, but in salvation.

We offer mass in the dead of night, just as they did in the Catacombs.

Quietly.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

Amen.


Amen. Amen.

Amen. Amen.

We now always God in paraíso?

Paraíso?

Yes. Paradise?

Yes, paradise.

Now? Yes.

No.

No.

But God is there now.

And forever.

He prepares a place for us all, even now.

I'm sorry, Sebastião, for my impatience.

I'm ashamed of my frustration.

The child is safe in the grace of God now and that is what is important.

And you're a bad Jesuit.

Hmm.

Sick of being trapped in here all day.

Eat.

We don't even know if Father Ferreira is alive or dead.

The villagers never even heard of him.

These people are so frightened.

There's fear over their head, and lice.

They have us, we comfort them.

How much longer can we do that?

We asked for this mission, Francisco.

We prayed for this in the exercises.

God heard us then, and He hears us now.

Well, then, may He guide us to Ferreira so we can know the truth.

You think it's possible that his strength gave out and he groveled to this Inquisitor Inoue, went on his knees like a dog?

That's still just a rumor.

Even if this Inoue is the devil everyone claims, Ferreira would stand up to him.

One of us must go to Nagasaki and find him.

It's too dangerous.

For us, for the people who shelter us.

We send Kichijiro, he brings back word we can act on.

Are you mad?

Where is he?

He's never here.

He's always drunk, you know he can't be trusted.

What do we do?

We must do something to find Father Ferreira.

Let's go out.

Let's risk it.

Just for a moment.

Look.

That's God's sign.

Don't move.

Someone's here watching us.


Padre?

Padre?

No, no, no. That's not the signal.

Padre.

Do not be afraid. It's all right.

We won't hurt you.

We Christian, Padre. Christian!

Christian.

We need you.

No, no!

Sebastião, hey! No! Sebastião!

Padre.

We have frightened you. We are sorry.

We want to ask you to come to our village. To Gotō.

People miss our faith there.

Our children need you.

We have no mass, no confession.

All we can do is pray.

How did you know we were here?

Who told you? Was it one of the faithful?

It was a Christian of our village. Kichijiro.

Kichijiro?

Our... Our Kichijiro?

He said he came here.

With you.

Yes, but he's not a Christian.

Yes, he is.

It's true. He spoke against God to the Inquisitor, Inoue-sama.

But that was eight years ago.

His whole family was put to death.

He spoke against God.

But he still believes.

No. No.

They need priests on Gotō.

No, Padre.

But, MOKICHI, we will return here.

No, no, Padre. We will return here.

I do not know the people of Gotō.

So I do not know they can be trusted.

These are Christians. Like us.

Kichijiro told them to come here.

I'm not sure why.

Why does he do anything?

Kichijiro brought us here to Tomogi.

It'll only be for a few days.

But one will stay here? Please.

Huh. Yes.


We're losing them.


That's right.

The fear I'd felt on the journey faded away.

Because the joy which greeted me was almost as great as my own.

Even the sight of Kichijiro was somehow welcome.

Come.

I thanked God for bringing me here.

On that day, the faithful received fresh hope.

And I was renewed.

And they came to me.

Not only from Gotō, for the Christians made their way through the mountains from other villages.

I felt God Himself was so near.

Their lives here are so hard.

They live like beasts and die like beasts.

But Christ did not die for the good and beautiful.

That is easy enough.

The hard thing is to die for the miserable and corrupt.

But here, I knew I was one of them and I shared the hunger of their spirit.

Another prayer was answered on Gotō.

It was there I learned the first real news of someone who might know of Father Ferreira.

Oh.

Padre Ferreira.

Padre Ferreira.

Yes, do you know him? Yes.

You know him? Yes.

You've seen him? Yes.

When?

He made a pray for infant and the...

Infant. Eu-fot?

Infant.

Baby! Baby! Infant.

Yeah! Sorry, infant.

And, uh, sick, sick.

At, uh, Shimachi.

Shimachi. Shimachi. Shimachi.

But, uh, that was before the trouble.

Oh, where is this?

Near Nagasaki. Nagasaki. Nagasaki.

But so dangerous. Dangerous to go.

No?

I don't know. I don't know.

They are desperate for tangible signs of faith.

So I provided what I could.

I worry they value these poor signs of faith more than faith itself.

But how could we deny them?

And finally, I had to part with my rosary.

Kichijiro!

Kichijiro!

In Gotō, I was completely overwhelmed.

I baptized over 100 adults and children, heard confessions without number.

But it was from Kichijiro that I felt the greatest need.

You did not take the rosary.

I did not deserve it.

Why?

'Cause you denied God?

Yes.

But only to live!

My whole family...

The Inquisitor, Inoue, wanted us to give up our faith.

Stamp on Jesus with our foot.

Just once, just pressed.

But they would not.

But I did.

But I could not abandon them,

even if I had abandoned God.

So I watched them die.

Wherever I go, I see the fire and smell the flesh.

When I saw you and Padre Garupe, for the first time, I started to believe

that God might take me back!

Because in my dreams the fire was no longer so bright!

You want me to hear your confession now?

Bless me, Padre,

for I have sinned.

Those six days at Gotō and Kichijiro's renewal of faith made me feel that my life was of value and that I could really be of use to people in this country at the ends of the Earth.

Men from the Inquisitor, they are in the village.

They took Ichizo.


No, we are not afraid to die, Padres, and we will never surrender you.

No one should die.

No. But we will be in danger whether you go or stay.

So stay. Stay.

We will never surrender you.

They'll keep coming back if we stay.

They could destroy the entire village and kill you all, while we hide.

No.

Yes, we have no choice, Mokichi. It is the only thing to do.

This will draw the danger away from you.

We can hide on Kichijiro's island.

My island?

No. There is no difference between there and here.

They will come to Gotō. They will search.

Same thing will happen.


You will stay.

Me, Mokichi, and two more hostages.


I'm not an informer!

I confessed all my sins.

Hey!


Padre?

Pa... Padre.

If we are forced to trample on the Lord, on the fumie...

You must pray for courage, Mokichi.

But if we do not do what they want, then it can be danger for everyone in the village.

They can be put in prison!

Taken away forever.

What should we do?

Trample.

Trample.

It's all right to trample.

What are you saying?

You can't!

Mokichi, you can't.

Amen.

I make this for the Jiisama.

It was all we had.

Until you came.

Take this. Please.

In Jesus' name.

Your faith gives me strength, Mokichi.

I wish I could give as much to you.

My love for God is strong.

Could that be the same as faith?

Yes.

Yes. I think it must be.

These people are the most devoted of God's creatures on Earth.

Father Valignano, I confess, I began to wonder.

God sends us trials to test us and everything He does is good.

And I prayed to undergo trials like his son.

But why must their trial be so terrible?

And why, when I look in my own heart, do the answers I give them seem so weak?


All of them did as they were commanded.

But it was not enough.


Old Ichizo would not do it.

Mokichi could not.

But Kichijiro succeeded where the rest failed.

I must believe he suffered along with the others.


They were given sake, as the Roman soldier offered vinegar to the dying Christ.

I prayed they remembered our Lord's suffering and took courage and comfort from it.


It took Mokichi four days to die.

At the end, he sang a hymn.

His voice was the only sound.

The people of the village who were gathered on the beach were always silent.


The people were watched closely so the bodies could not be given a Christian burial.

Mokichi's body was so heavy with water, it turned the flames to smoke before it finally caught fire.

Any bones that remained were scattered in the ocean so they could not be venerated.

Father Valignano, you will say that their death is not meaningless.

Surely God heard their prayers as they died.

But did He hear their screams?

How can I explain His silence to these people who have endured so much?

I need all my strength to understand it myself.

This may be my last report to you, Father.

Today we hear the guards are in the mountains looking for us.

So we have decided it will be safer to separate.

They were right.

If we left, they might still be alive.

Don't say that. That's not true.

And we cannot doubt, that will be our death.

Are we giving up? Is that what we are doing?

Are we running away? No.

After people have died for us.

They did not die for us.

Garupe, they did not die for us.

I feel like a coward.

My love goes with you.

I pray to be as strong as you.

Father Garupe will make for Hirado to continue the mission.

And I will return to Gotō.

Francisco, stay alive.

Stay alive.

Father, I ask forgiveness for my weakness and my doubt.

And I ask you to remember Father Garupe and me in your masses and in your prayers.

Your obedient son.

I imagine your Son nailed to the cross.

My mouth tastes like vinegar.

Is that Gotō?

Is that Gotō?

Father in heaven, praised be thy name.

I'm just a foreigner who brought disaster.

And that's what they think of me now.


I dream of our St. Francis.

What happened to all the glorious possibility he found here?

What have I done for Christ?

What am I doing for Christ?

What will I do for Christ?

I feel so tempted.

I feel so tempted to despair.

I'm afraid.

The weight of your silence is terrible.

I pray, but I'm lost.

Or am I just praying to nothing?

Nothing.

Because you are not there.


I pray for your forgiveness.

If my report now comes to an abrupt end, do not think that we are dead.

Forif Garupe and I die, the Japanese church dies with us.

Ah!

I thought I was being followed.

Are you all right, Padre?

Sorry.

Padre?

Why did you come back here, Padre?

This place is dangerous.

We must be careful.

There is a price of 300 pieces of silver for you.

Three hundred.

Judas got only 30.

There are Christians near the villages.

Not far.

We can hide there. I will take care of you.

Take it. Please.

You must be so hungry.

Mokichi and my family stayed strong.

I am so weak.

Are you?

You can certainly look after yourself.

Not to be selfish.

I am like you.

I have nowhere else to go.

Where is the place for a weak man

in a world like this?

You want to confess for Mokichi and Ichizo?

"What you will do, do quickly."

Your Son's words to Judas at the Last Supper.

Was he angry when he said them?

Or did they come from love?

Are you all right, Padre?

You seem so tired. I'm all right.

The fish you gave me was so salty.

I thirst.

What? I thirst.

Our Lord said that. Yes.

I get some water. Ah.

Kichi...

I get water. Kichijiro!

Kichijiro.

Oh. Sorry, I dropped the water, Padre.

I thought something was wrong.

But, never mind.

There is a stream just nearby.

You can drink as much as you like.

Here.


Padre, forgive me.

Padre?

I pray for God's forgiveness.

Will he forgive? Even me?


Blessed be God.

What is... What is your name?

Monica. Ah.

Like the mother of Augustine.

My baptismal name.

This man is Juan.

He wanted his name to be like our priest Juan, who died at Unzen.

There will be many more joining him.

You understand.

Why are you... Why are you looking at me like that?

Why are you so calm?

We are all about to die!

Like that!

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. Thank you. Thank you for the food.

Padre...

Our father, Padre Juan said if we die, we will go to paraíso.

Paradise.

Yes, that's right.

Isn't it good to die?

Paraíso is so much better than here.

No one hungry.

Never sick. No taxes. No hard work.

Yes. Of course.

Padre Juan was right.

There is no hard work in paraíso.

There is no work at all.

There is no taxes.

There is no suffering.

We all will be united with God.

There will be no pain.


No, not you.

You stay.

You understood what I was saying to them?

Your Japanese is good enough?

I saw your eyes. Oh.

And what did you think you saw there?

They're fools.

Those peasants.

Lord, spare them suffering and keep them safe in Your hand.

They can talk among themselves without end.

And decide nothing.

But you understand, don't you?

Just say what you mean.

That it all depends on you whether they are set free, if you say just one single word.

Show them.

Deny your faith.

So what if I refuse?

You kill me?

The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.

Just like the priests you slaughtered in Ōmura and Nagasaki.

We learned from our mistake.

Killing the priests and killing the peasants makes it worse.

If they can die for their God, they think it only makes them stronger.

If you feel you must punish someone, punish me alone.

You do not speak like a good priest!

If you were a real man, a truly good priest, you should feel pity for the Christian.

Isn't that so, Padre, isn't that so?

The price for your glory is their suffering.


Padre, praise be to God, our Father.

Praise be to Him.

The Portuguese language was a gift of your Father Cabral.

I have been asked to interpret on your behalf.

There was concern that we might miss certain subtleties in your testimony if you were told to speak only in Japanese.

Testimony? Uh...

We want it to be fair.

And we do have a better grasp of your language than you do of ours.

Father Cabral never managed much more than arigataya.

All the time he lived here, he taught, but would not learn.

He despised our language, our food, our customs.

I'm not like him. I'm not like Cabral.

Really? Yes.

We have our own religion, Padre.

Pity you did not know this yet.

No. No, no. We just think a different way.

True.

You believe our Buddhists are only men.

Just human beings.

Even a Buddha dies.

Like all men.

He is not the Creator. You are ignorant.

Padre, only a Christian would see Buddhists simply as men.

Our Buddha is a being which men can become.

Something greater than himself if he can overcome all his illusions.

But you cling to your illusions and call them faith.

No, you don't understand.

If any man follows God's commandments, then he can live a peaceful and joyous life.

I do. I do understand.

Padre, it is perfectly simple.

Have you heard that word?

It means fall down, surrender, give up the faith.

Apostatize, as you say.

Do it.

If you don't apostatize, the prisoners will be hung over the pit.

Until you do, their lives bleeding away drop by drop.

Some last for days, some do not.

They die.

They tortured Fathers Porro and Cassola over the pit.

Have you heard of them?

There was one called Pedro, too.

And Ferreira of course.

Ferreira?

Did you know him?

I have... I have heard of him.

No doubt. He's well-known all over Japan now.

The priest with the Japanese name and the Japanese wife.

I don't believe you. You can ask anyone.

People in Nagasaki point him out and marvel.

He's held in great esteem now, which, I believe, is why he came here in the first place.


I thought that martyrdom would be my salvation.

Please, please, God, do not let it be my shame.

The Lord is my refuge, and my deliverer.

My God is my helper, and in Him will I put my trust.

Of the Blood, all price exceeding, shed by our immortal King, destined for the world's redemption.

Why are you following me?

Stop following me!


Thank you, Lord, for the gentle days here.

Jesus taught me to love everyone.

But I cannot feel love to those who torture our friends to death.

I am angry. I cannot love them.

Even the guards have been touched by your hand, Lord.

I feel guilty.

I wonder if this unbroken peace...

From Him comes my salvation.

...is proof that my death is not far away.

I shall never be shaken.

I shall never be shaken.

I shall never be shaken.

I see the life of your son so clearly, almost like my own.

And his face, it takes all fear from me.

It is the face I remember from childhood.

Speaking to me.

I'm sure of it.

Promising "I will not abandon you."

"I will not abandon you."

"I will not abandon you."

Put them on.

You should be honored. It's what our priests wear.


Father Rodrigues from Portugal, yes?

I am sorry, Padre, for my speaking.

My language is not so good.

But his Lordship, the Governor of Chikugo, is anxious about your comfort.

Comfort?

Perhaps discomfort.

Discomfort. Yes.

About why you are here, and if you are not at ease, please say so.

Your trip was long.

There were many dangers.

The power of your determination touches us greatly.

We know you have also suffered greatly.

We do not wish to add to your suffering.

And the thought that we might do so is painful for us, too.

Thank you.

Padre.

The doctrine you bring with you may be true in Spain and Portugal, but we have studied it carefully.

Thought about it over much time.

And find it is of no use and of no value in Japan.

We have concluded that it is a danger.

But we believe we have brought you the truth.

The truth is universal.

It's common to all countries at all times.

That's why we call it the truth.

If a doctrine weren't as true here in Japan as it is in Portugal, then we couldn't call it the truth.

I see you do not work with your hands, Father.

But everyone knows a tree which flourishes in one kind of earth may decay and die in another.

It is the same with the tree of Christianity.

The leaves decay here.

The buds die.

It is not the soil that has killed the buds.

There were 300,000 Christians here in Japan before the soil was...

Yes?

Was poisoned.

You have no reply?

And why should you? You're...

You're never going to change my heart.

And it seems like I'm not going to change yours.

You want to test my faith? Give me a real challenge.

Bring me to the Inquisitor.

Bring me to Inoue-sama.

Why are they laughing?

I didn't say anything funny. Why are they laughing?

Because, Padre...

Because...

I am the Governor of Chikugo.

I am the Inquisitor.

I am Inoue.


How long... How long will they have to work like this in the rain?

Until finished.

Padre. Padre! Padre!

Please listen to me.

Please listen to me!

I never took their money!

I did not betray you for money!


Be careful of him, Padre.

Maybe Inoue-sama pays him to make us trample.

No, he did not!

Please, Padre. Let me confess.

Padre...

I know I smell.

I smell of sin.

I want to confess again so the Lord can wash me clean.

Why did you come here?

Is it for absolution?

Do you have any understanding what absolution is?

Do you understand what I've been saying?

Years ago, I could have died a good Christian.

There was no persecution!

Why was I born now?

This is so unfair!

I am sorry.

But do you still believe?


Bless me, Padre, for I have sinned.

I am sorry for being so weak.

I am sorry this has happened.

I am sorry for what I did to you.

Help me, Padre. Take away the sin.

I will try again to be strong!

Father, how could Jesus love a wretch like this?

There is evil all around in this place.

I sense its strength, even its beauty.

But there is none of that in this man.

He is not worthy to be called evil.

Go in peace.

I feel...

I... I fear. Jesus, forgive me.

I may not be worthy of you.


Ikitsuki-jima, Kuboura, Chokichi.


Onajiku, Haru.


Onajiku, Tobe.


Onajiku, Wataichi.


Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayer.


Ah. I'm sorry I've neglected you for some days now, Padre.

But I had business in Hirado.

I hope you get to go there yourself sometime.

I'm sure it's very beautiful.

There is an interesting story about the daimyo who ruled there.

He had four concubines. Four!

They were all beautiful, but they...

I'm sorry.

Maybe this is not a story for a celibate priest.

It's all right. Please go on.

In that case, the daimyo's concubines were all jealous and they fought and fought without end.

So the daimyo of Hirado drove them away from his castle, and peace came into his life again.

Do you think this story has a lesson?

Yes.

That this was a very wise man.

I'm glad.

That means you understand the daimyo is like Japan, and these concubines are Spain, Portugal, Holland, England.

Each trying to gain the advantage against the other and destroy the house in the process!

Since you say this man is wise, you will understand why we must outlaw the Christian.

Well, our church teaches monogamy.

Oh.

One wife. Uh-huh.

What if Japan were to choose one lawful wife from the four?

You mean Portugal.

No.

I mean, the Holy Church.

Don't you think it would be better for the man to forget about foreign women and choose one of his own?

Nationality is not so important when it comes to a marriage.

What matters is love.

Love and fidelity.

Ah, love.

Padre, there are men who are plagued by the persistent love of an ugly woman.

Is that what missionary work is to you?

An ugly woman?

Well...

Yes.

Barren. A barren woman cannot be a true wife.

If the gospel has lost its way here, it's not the fault of the church.

It is the fault of those who tear away the faithful from their faith like a husband from a wife.

You mean me?

Padre, you missionaries do not seem to know Japan.

And you, Honorable Inquisitor, do not seem to know Christianity.

There are those who think of your religion as a curse.

I do not.

I see it in another way.

But still dangerous.

I'd like you to think about the persistent love of an ugly woman and how a barren woman should never be a wife.

Padre!

Padre! Help me, Padre!

Help me, please!

Padre! Padre!

Padre!

Where are you taking them?

Where are you taking them?

Padre! Padre!

Padre!

You are traveling today.


Sit down. It's better for you, I think.

Please.

Padre.

How are you feeling today, eh?

I'm sure the air must feel good even though you were in our newest prison.

The old prison was very tough on the padres.

Rain, wind... Sorry. Excuse me.

When will Inoue-sama be here?

Oh. He's not coming today.

Do you miss him?

He treats me kindly.

Three meals a day so that my body will betray my heart.

That's your plan, isn't it?

That's what you're waiting for.

Not at all. No?

But we are waiting for someone today.

Inoue-sama wants you to meet him.

He will be here any moment.

He's Portuguese like yourself.

You should have a lot to talk about, huh?

Ferreira.

Is it who you expected?

Is it who you expected?

I want to talk to him. There's no hurry.

It is early. Plenty of time.

Tell me. Does he know I'm here?

I cannot tell you.

I must not speak about the business of the Inquisitor's office.

But I can tell you he knows you are alive because we told him you apostatized.

Now, do you know what they use those mats for?

No.

Look. The guard.

What could he be saying to Father Garupe?

Maybe this.

If you are truly a Christian, you will apostatize and not let them die.

You know, the Inquisitor promises that if Father Garupe apostatizes, the four will be free.

I hope Father Garupe agrees.

I should tell you, these Christians already trampled and denied their faith at the Inquisitor's office.

If they did what you wanted, then let them go.

Let them go. They did what you wanted.

So let them go. Please.

Please! Please! Please! Let them go!

We don't want them.

Four farmers?

There are still hundreds of Christian peasants on the islands off the coast.

No! We want the Padre to deny, and be an example to them.

No, please!

Oh, apostatize! Apostatize!

For their sake, Lord, do not leave this to us!

Take me instead!

No!

No!

No, no, no! Garupe, no!

No, no, no! No!

No!


No!

No!

No!

Oh, please! Please, please!


Terrible business! Terrible!

No matter how many times you see it.

Think about the suffering you have inflicted on these people just because of your selfish dream of a Christian Japan.

Your Deus punishes Japan through you!

At least Garupe was clean.

But you, you have no will!

You do not deserve to be called a priest.


My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?

Why have you forsaken me?

I was your son.

Your son was going to the cross.

You were silent, even to him.

Your silent, cold son.

Oh, no, no.

Ludicrous. Ludicrous.

Stupid.

Stupid.

He's not going to answer.

He's not going to answer.


Padre.

Padre.


Come along, Padre.

Our priests do not like your priests, but you will still find much of value here.


What is it, Padre?

The incense?

The smell of meat?

Have you had any meat since you came to Japan?

I don't much like the smell, myself.

Have you guessed yet?

Have you guessed who's coming?

This is Inoue-sama's command and the other's wish.

The other?

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done...

Padre, think of the souls you can save, Padre Ferreira.


Fa...

Father...

Father Ferreira.

I'd given up.

So long since we have met.

Please say something.

What can I say to you on such an occasion?

If you have any pity for me, say something.

Have you... Have you...

Have you been living here for long?

About a year, I suppose.

Why? What is this place?

A temple where I study.

I'm in... I'm in a sort of prison somewhere in Nagasaki. I don't know precisely where.

I know it.

You were my teacher.

You were my confessor.

My teacher. I'm much the same.

Do a single simple thing.

Tell me then, Padre.

Tell me you agree.

Do I...

Do I really seem so different?

The Honorable Sawano spends his day writing about astronomy.

At Inoue-sama's order.

There is great knowledge here.

But in, uh, medicine and astronomy, much remains to be taught.

I'm happy to help.

It is fulfilling to finally be of use in this country.

Then you're happy, Father?

I said so.

Mention the other book you are writing.

It is called Kengiroku.

It shows the errors of Christianity and refutes the teachings of Deus.

Do you understand the title?

Tell him.

It means deceit disclosed, or unmasked, if you prefer a more florid reading.

His Lordship, the Inquisitor, he praises it.

He says it is well done.

It's the truth.

You use the truth like poison!

What a funny thing for a priest to say.

This is cruel. Cruel.

Worse than any torture to twist a man's soul in this way.

I think you must be speaking of yourself.

Not of Sawano Chūan.

Who? Him!

He is Ferreira only to you.

He is Sawano Chūan now.

A man who has found peace.

Let him guide you along his path.

The path of mercy.

That means only that you abandon self.

No one should interfere with another man's spirit.

To help others is the way of the Buddha and your way, too.

The two religions are the same in this.

It is not necessary to win anyone over to one side or another when there is so much to share.

Go on.

I've been told to get you to abandon the faith.

This...

This is from the pit.

You're tied so you can't move and hung upside down.

An incision is made.

You feel the blood dripping down, drop by drop, so it doesn't run to your head and you won't die too soon.

Step on your Jesus.


You are the last priest left here now, Padre.

I'm sure Inoue-sama will be pleased to put an end to the pain.

He's a practical man, Padre.

Not a cruel one.

I have labored in this country for 15 years.

I know it better than you.

Our religion does not take root in this country.

Because the roots have been torn up.

No! Because this country is a swamp.

Nothing grows here.

Plant a sapling here and the roots rot.

There was a time when Christianity grew and flourished here.

When? When?

In your time, Father.

In your time, before you became like...

Like who? Like them?

Rodrigues, please listen.

The Japanese only believe in their distortion of our gospel.

So they did not believe at all.

They never believed.

How can you say that?

From the time of St. Francis Xavier through your own time.

There were hundreds of thousands of converts here.

Converts? Converts, yes!

Francis Xavier came here to teach the Japanese about the Son of God.

But first he had to ask how to refer to God.

"Dainichi," he was told.

And shall I show you their Dainichi?

Behold. There is the Son of God.

God's only begotten Son.

In the scriptures, Jesus rose on the third day.

In Japan, ...the Son of God rises daily.

The Japanese cannot think of an existence beyond the realm of nature.

For them, nothing transcends a human.

No. They can't conceive of our idea of the Christian God.

No, you're wrong. You're wrong.

They worship God. God! Our Lord.

They praise the name of Deus.

That's just another word for a god they never knew.

I saw men die!

I did, too.

For Deus! On fire with their faith!

Your martyrs may have been on fire, Father, but it was not for the Christian faith.

I saw them die. I saw them die.

They did not die for nothing.

They did not.

They're dying for you, Rodrigues.

How many did you save when you trampled on the face of our Lord?

How many beside yourself?

I don't know.

Certainly not as many as you may help.

You're trying to justify your own weakness.

God have mercy on you.

Which god? Which one?

We say...

I'm sorry.

You haven't learned the language thoroughly, have you?

There's a saying here.

Mountains and rivers can be moved, but man's nature cannot be moved.

It's very wise, like so much here.

We find our original nature in Japan, Rodrigues.

Perhaps it's what's meant by finding God.

You're a disgrace.

You're a disgrace, Father.

I can't...

I can't even call you that anymore.

Good. I have a Japanese name now, and a wife, and children.

I inherited them all from an executed man.

How do you feel?

He has shown you the path of mercy.

I hope you take it.

Why don't you just hang me in the pit?


Padre, you came here for them and they all hate you.

Insult me all you like. You just give me more courage.

You will need it tonight.

You are a good man, Padre.

You cannot stand suffering.

Your own or others'.

Inoue-sama says you will apostatize tonight.

He was right about Ferreira.

And he's right about you.

God help me. Jesus help me.

In the garden, You said, "Thy soul is sorrowful even unto death."

I would bleed for you.

I would.

I would die for you if I knew you...

Are you here with me?

Padre. Forgive me.

Padre! I came here to make confession.

Padre!

Forgive me, Padre!

Forgive me!

Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop the noise!

Stop it! Someone help him!

What do you need? Not me. Down there.

There is a man in agony and the guard is sound asleep and snoring like a wild dog!

You think that noise is the guard?

Incredible.

Sawano, tell him. Say what it is.

It is not the guard and it's not snoring.

It's Christians. Five of them, in fact.

All hanging in the pit.

Have you found the words on the wall?

"Laudate eum."

"Praise Him."

I cut them there with a stone when I was in this cell.

Like you.

Be quiet.

Don't... Don't speak to me.

You have no right to speak to me.

Oh, I do. Because you are just like me.

You see Jesus in Gethsemane and believe your trial is the same as His.

Those five in the pit are suffering, too, just like Jesus, but they don't have your pride.

They would never compare themselves to Jesus.

Do you have the right to make them suffer?

I heard the cries of suffering in this same cell.

And I acted.

You excuse yourself! You excuse yourself!

That is the spirit of darkness.

And what would you do for them? Pray?

And get what in return? Only more suffering.

A suffering only you can end. Not God!

Go away from me.

I prayed, too, Rodrigues.

It doesn't help.

Go on. Pray.

But pray with your eyes open.

No!

You can spare them.

They call out for help just as you call to God.

He is silent, but you do not have to be.

They should apostatize. Apostatize!

God help me. Apostatize! Korobu! Korobu!

But they have apostatized.

Many times over.

They're here for you, Rodrigues.

As long as you don't apostatize, they cannot be saved.

A priest should act in imitation of Christ.

If Christ were here...

If Christ were here, He would've acted.

Apostatized for their sake.

No. No, He's here.

Christ is here. I just can't hear Him.

Show God you love Him!

Save the lives of the people He loves.

There is something more important than the judgment of the Church.

You are now going to fulfill the most painful act of love that has ever been performed.

It's only a formality.

Just a formality.


Come ahead, now.

It's all right.

Step on Me.

I understand your pain.

I was born into this world to share men's pain.

I carried this cross for your pain.

Your life is with Me now.

Step.


It was in the year 1641, during the first of my voyages to Japan, that I, Dieter Albrecht, came upon the most extraordinary story in these pages.

Christian.

Non-Christian.

As a physician in a great Dutch trading company, I traveled widely.

Christian.

But none of the wonders I have recounted in this journal has been so commented on as the curious matter...

Non-Christian.

...of the apostate priests.

Christian.

I came closer than any European chronicler to the enigma of this country.

Non-Christian.

And to learning of the lives of the lost priests.

Inoue, the Inquisitor, would raid homes and search for any objects with hidden Christian images.

Christian.

The two priests were required to examine these things and verify their use.

I even, on occasion, observed them myself.

The Dutch were the only Europeans allowed to trade in Japan.

All ships were searched to warrant they were not smuggling religious objects.

Nothing bearing the images of the cross, a saint, or rosary could pass.

Despite every attempt, a few things inevitably were smuggled in.

Christian.

And then it was as distressing to the Japanese as if blood had been spilled.

We were taught to love those who scorned us.

I feel nothing for them.

Only our Lord can judge your heart.

You said, "Our Lord."

I doubt it.

When Sawano Chūan died, the other priest assumed his duties and performed them with distinction.

By this time, I observed he had acquired considerable skill with the language.

And seemed to be at peace with his situation.

I have good news.

A man has died in Edo.

Okada San'emon.

You will take his name just as it is.

He had a household, and a wife and son.

You can take her as your wife.

A man works best when he's not alone.

You should know that on the islands of Ikitsuki and Gotō... Uh... No.

There are still many farmers who think themselves Christian.

Do you like that? They can continue to be Christian.

You may take some satisfaction in that, because the roots are cut.

Nothing grows in a swamp.

Yes, Japan is that kind of country.

The religion of the Christian you brought us has become a strange thing.

It's changed.

You were not defeated by me.

You were defeated by this swamp of Japan.

Welcome.

Okada San'emon lived in Edo for the remaining years of his life.

Some 10 years later, I was allowed to visit Edo.

The Japanese gossiped freely about Okada San'emon.

The Inquisitor Inoue, demanded repeated vows of apostasy from him.

And they say, "The fallen priest supplied them all quickly

"and vigorously."

I heard the Inquisitor sent his men for you.

Was there trouble? No.

No, no. Just...

He only wanted to make sure I wrote the "korobi-shoumon."

My latest oath of renunciation.

Thank you.

For being here with me.

Padre...

No. No.

I'm not... I'm not anymore.

I'm a fallen priest.

But you are the last priest left.

You could still hear my confession.

No, I can't.

No! I can't!

I still suffer for what I did, Padre.

I betrayed you. I betrayed my family.

I betrayed our Lord.

Please...

Hear my confession.

Padre.

Lord, I fought against your silence.

I suffered beside you.

I was never silent.

I know.

But even if God had been silent my whole life,

to this very day,

everything I do, everything I've done...

Speaks of Him.

It was in the silence that I heard Your voice.

The Inquisitor continued to insist on periodic examinations of all suspected Christians.

Okada San'emon was not exempt from this.

Inoue was determined to never let his example be forgotten.

Perhaps most particularly by the priest himself.

Okada San'emon.


In the year 1667, a religious image was discovered inside an amulet belonging to a servant called Kichijiro.

The servant said he had won it gambling, had never looked inside, and could never have gotten the amulet from Okada San'emon since he was always underguard.

The servant Kichijiro was taken away.

After that, Okada San'emon himself was carefully watched.

During my last voyage in 1682, I asked about him.

And the Japanese were eager to reply.

The last priest never acknowledged the Christian God.

Not by word or symbol.

He never spoke of Him and never prayed.

Not even when he died.

The business of his faith was long ended.

Three guards stood watch over the coffin until it could be taken away, just to be certain.

Only his wife was briefly allowed to view the body, and place there, a humble mamorigatana

to ward off evil spirits.


There was no indication that she wept.


The body was treated in the Buddhist manner.

And he was given a posthumous Buddhist name.

The man who was once Rodrigues ended as they wanted.

And as I first saw him, lost to God.

But as to that, indeed, only God can answer.