Silence is a 1971 Japanese film directed by Masahiro Shinoda. Music is by Tōru Takemitsu (who also did Woman in the Dunes, Kwaidan, and Ran). Kazuo Miyagawa (who also did Rashomon, Ugetsu, Sansho the Bailiff, and Yojimbo) is the cinematographer.
It is the story of the Jesuit missionaries who came to Japan in the 1600s. Their religion is outlawed, and they suffer persecution. The main character -the padre- serves as a Christ figure of sorts, as he serves, is tempted, and suffers. It is based on a novel by Shusako Endo, which in turn is loosely based on actual historical figures and events. The ending is a shocker.
Martin Scorsese is re-making it for a 2015 release.
I watched it on Hulu (with commercials) for free:
DVD Beaver says, "Ponderous at times but for those keen on the subject matter it can be quite impacting and unforgettable. It is a vast and deep dissertation on religion, faith and sacrifice." Slant Magazine says, "Silence's formal monotony dulls."