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This crisis is only heightened as the film proceeds to its climactic scene in which Rodrigues is forced to apostatize to save five Christians from torture.
But Kichijiro apostatizes again and again, fleeing the scene only to return or be brought back to where Rodrigues is imprisoned, to ask forgiveness, for absolution.
In the history of cinema, there have been many great films about Christian faith: Carl Theodor Dreyer's "Ordet," Robert Bresson's "The Diary of a Country Priest," Jean-Pierre Melville's "Leon Morin, Priest." Now, add to that Martin Scorsese's "Silence," which marks the culmination of a nearly 30-year journey to adapt Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo's tale of a 17th-century Jesuit missionary faced with the dilemma of whether to apostatize.
Before Father Rodrigues makes the decision to apostatize and save those being tortured from their physical pain, Ferreira tells him,
In what sounds like a direct response to Wahhabism, he quotes none other than Ibn Taymiya, who warns that the error involved in sparing the life of an unbeliever is far less than the error of spilling the blood of an innocent Muslim.(211) A ruling of takfir, Sanusi adds, is only applicable to someone who professes kufr, unambiguously chooses it as a religion, and apostatizes from the religion of Islam altogether.(212)