Pope Francis holds private Vatican meeting with director Martin Scorsese

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Pope Francis met with film director Martin Scorsese and his family in a private audience Wednesday.

The American director’s latest movie – the religious drama Silence – will be shown later on Wednesday at the Vatican Filmoteca for 40 invited guests.

It was also screened Tuesday for Jesuit priests at a pontifical university.

The 159-minute movie, Scorsese’s passion project for 27 years, tells the story of two Jesuit priests looking for their lost mentor in Japan in the 17th century during a time when Christianity was forbidden.

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During the meeting, Scorsese presented Pope Francis with two pictures of Japanese artwork.

One was a portrait of the Madonna which, Scorsese explained, was the most revered picture for Japanese Christians during the 17th century.

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The second picture was used by the production in their research for the film.

Silence, starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, is scheduled to be released in Canada on Dec. 23.