By AFPOctober 17, 2016Latest : Entertainment
TOKYO: Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese told an audience in Tokyo Monday his long-awaited film about the persecution of Christians in 17th century Japan will hit the big screen just before Christmas.
The filmmaker, known for hits including Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and The Wolf of Wall Street, said his latest film "Silence" be released for a limited run in the United States on December 23 -- putting it in possible contention for an Oscar nomination.
Scorsese, who picked up an Oscar for The Departed in 2007, made the announcement at a press briefing in Tokyo where he is to receive Japan´s biggest arts award, the Praemium Imperiale, at a ceremony later this week.
The film is based on the 1966 novel by famed Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo, which tells the story of a young, idealistic Jesuit priest from Portugal who lands on the shores of Nagasaki in southern Japan -- then the only part of the country open to foreigners.
The novel, titled "Chinmoku" ("Silence"), depicts severe persecution inflicted on converts to Christianity -- many of whom were impoverished villagers forced into hiding. The Christians came out of the shadows when Japan ended two hundred years of self-imposed isolation in the 1860s.
Before filming, Scorsese -- who said he has wanted to do the film for over a quarter century -- visited the areas mentioned in the book and interviewed descendants of these so-called hidden Christians.
The film stars Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano.
Scorsese is one of five recipients of the Praemium Imperiale this year, which also honours American artist Cindy Sherman, French sculptor Annette Messager, Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer.