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Scorsese’s Jesuit epic snubbed by Oscars 2017

A scene from Silence

Silence, Martin Scorsese’s film about Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan, has received just one nomination for this year’s Academy Awards.

The solitary nomination is in the best cinematography category, with the failure to garner more than one Oscar nods capping a disappointing run which also saw the film fail to make a significant impression at the box office.

Silence tells the story of two Jesuit priests (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) searching for their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) in Japan. The action takes place at a time when Christianity was outlawed in the Asian nation.

The film is based on a novel of the same name by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō. Although a work of fiction, the character of Fr Ferreira, portrayed by Liam Neeson, is based on Portugese Jesuit Cristóvão Ferreira.

In a recent interview with the Catholic Herald, Scorsese said: “The subject matter was so intriguing to me – it’s about life and faith and what is selflesslessness, and how do you act that out? All these thoughts came into my mind, and when finally I was able to pull the script together, it felt like the end of a pilgrimage.”

Hollywood-set musical La La Land is the front-runner for Oscars 2017, with the film picking up 14 nominations. The Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.