Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated movie “Silence” let’s the world see TaiwanBy Joe Meny
On Monday evening, February 13, Taiwan Tourism Bureau in New York hosted a screening of the Oscar-nominated film “Silence”, directed by Martin Scorsese. Filmed on location in Taiwan, the film is based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel of the same name. It tells the stories about the suffering and spiritual crises of Portuguese missionaries ministering to persecuted Christians in 17th century Japan. Beautifully showcasing Taiwan’s unique natural style, its multi-layered visual splendor was not lost on the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. “Silence” has been nominated for an Oscar this year in the category of Best Cinematography.
The film has been 25 years in the making, and the result is an epic masterpiece. Completely shot in Taiwan, “Silence” is the story of two priests who braved unimaginable dangers in their long search for their mentor. From a civilized village to original wilderness, “Silence” is that rare Hollywood film to be film solely in one location. Areas included in the film include the Yangming Mountain, the Hualien coastline, and Taichung, to highlight just a few. The movie brings Taiwan’s coastline and mountain beauty to a global audience. Director Scorsese said in a taped interview before the screening, that “Taiwan’s natural scenery, whether it is the color of the grass, the shape of the stone or the coast lines, are full of stories; so that gives the film more vitality”.
Chen Fengyu, deputy director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, says that Taiwan has a wealth of natural and cultural assets, and that through the film “Silence”, audiences will see a refreshing Taiwan style that is likely to attract global visitors to travel to Taiwan in person.
Involved to participate in the introduction prior to the screening, film editor Thelma Schoonmaker shared with the guests that during the shooting in Taiwan, the deepest impression she had is that the Taiwanese people are friendly and warm. Ms. Schoonmaker felt that without Taiwan’s assistance, support, and rich natural assets, the film could not have been completed.
Thomas Chang, director of the New York office of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, said that the film is playing in several cinemas throughout Manhattan, and will include a 30-second film clip promoting tourism to Taiwan on the big screen, reaching out to a local New York City mainstream audience with images of Taiwan’s unique natural beauty and scenery.
This year, Taiwan Tourism Bureau in New York will continue through its alliances, integrated marketing and other practices, hold monthly tourism activities, and looks forward to attracting more international tourists to personally experience the beauty of the island, achieving a new peak of tourism in Taiwan. For more information about Taiwan travel information, please visit the website of the Tourist Board taiwan.net.tw or the Tourist Board website www.facebook.com/TaiwanTourism/.