'Silence' movie by Martin Scorsese tells of Christian persecution in 17th-century Japan

"Silence," the long-awaited movie about Christian persecution in Japan in the 17th-century, will make its way to theaters before Christmas, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese has recently announced.

During a press briefing in Tokyo on Monday, Scorsese confirmed that "Silence" will be released for a limited time in the United States on Dec. 23. The screening of the Oscar-winning director's new film was originally scheduled for last year but its release has been delayed several times. One of the delays was caused by the death of a construction worker and injury of several others after an on-set accident, AFP reports.

(Reuters/Lucas Jackson)Martin Scorsese, best director nominee for his film ''The Wolf of Wall Street,', arrives at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, March 2, 2014.

It took a total of 26 years for "Silence" to be finished, as the project was also beset by several litigations and deals. The Hollywood Reporter says Scorsese was sued multiple times for prioritizing "Kundun," "The Departed," "Gangs of New York," and other movie projects over the persecution film.

In addition, "Silence" ran into money troubles and was about to be shut down had Moriah Media and Fabrica de Cine not offered Scorsese capital for the project. When they accepted the offer, the filming began in early 2015.

"Silence" is based on Japanese novelist Shusako Endo's 1966 book titled "Chinmoku" (Silence) which tells that story of a young Jesuit priest from Portugal who traveled to Nagasaki, Japan and the severe persecution that Christian converts there had experienced.

Scorsese previously revealed that he had wanted to do the film for a long time. He even visited the places mentioned in the novel and talked to the descendants of Japan's underground Christians.

"What came out of that for me was the extraordinary power and sacrifice, the commitment and conviction of their ancestors who were martyrs to the faith," said Scorsese. "For me this was almost like meeting one of the hidden Christians from the 17th century and it changed my perception of how to deal with those scenes and the characters."

"Silence" features Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, and Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano.

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