I first discovered Jeff Nichols back in 2013, when I happened to catch Mud in theaters. Not knowing what to expect, I still remember distinctly how I felt walking out of the theater - I absolutely loved everything about the film. I was stunned by its raw, understated beauty, with characters that lived and breathed, and a coming-of-age story that was uniquely captivating.
Martin Scorsese's Silence begins with a dark, blank screen, with only the gentle humming of cicadas heard on all sides. It then immediately opens up to an overcast shot overlooking the banks of a river, where numerous people are being strung up and tortured. Such a peaceful moment undercut by extreme violence is very much an indication of what's to come.