VATICAN CITY — Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese is getting Vatican-style red carpet treatment, meeting Wednesday with Pope Francis after screening his new film, Silence, in Rome.
The film is about two Jesuit missionaries who search for their mentor in 17th-century Japan, when Christians were persecuted. The plot is likely of interest to Francis, who as a young man joined the Jesuit order in hopes of becoming a missionary in Japan.
He never made it because of his health, but he has spoken out frequently about the church’s past and present martyrs.
The film was being screened Tuesday for Jesuit priests at a pontifical university.
The Vatican said Francis would receive Scorsese in the Apostolic Palace before his general audience.
Francis has met with several Hollywood bigwigs, including Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Scorsese grew up in a religious home, attended Catholic school and spent a year in the seminary considering a vocation as a Catholic priest. He once said, “My whole life has been movies and religion. That’s it. Nothing else.”
Scorses’s most spiritual and controversial film was 1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s novel, which emphasized Christ’s humanity and emotional pain rather than his physical suffering.