Brilliant, riveting, touching and funny “Venus and Serena’ takes a look into the lives of the sister’s rise from obscurity. We see the duo in their full regalia and explore their struggles during the 2011 tennis season as they battle life and career-threatening health problems while music from Wyclef Jean plays in the background.
Venus and Serena Williams
Ever since the sisters started playing in tennis tournaments, they’ve provoked strong reactions – from awe and admiration to suspicion and resentment. They’ve been winning championships for over a decade, pushing the limits of longevity in such a demanding sport. How long can they last? Venus is 32 and fighting Sjogren’s Disease, a disorder that often causes severe joint pain, and Serena is 30, recovering from a pulmonary embolism. They love the game and despite their aliments, are determined to return to sport they have played since they were kids.
Serena Williams, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams
As the film begins in the late ’80s, we meet Venus and Serena on the tennis court. Barely a few inches the above net, the well-mannered duo, just fifteen months apart are playing tennis as their father, Richard Williams, looks on sternly nearby. The city is Compton; a low-income, gang-afflicted hub just outside Los Angeles made infamous by many a rap song.
Venus Williams wih her ESPY Award
The film then pans to present day where we learn of their injuries. As the film progresses jumping from childhood to adulthood, we see their lives – both in the spotlight – and behind closed doors, follow their on and off-field antics including Serena’s outburst at the 2009 US Open where she took out her anger on the line judge. We see their bold fashion statements on court, from the multi-colored braided hair and skin-colored shorts, to Richard’s childhood in Shreveport, LA and get a glimpse of the protective man behind their success.
A well-rounded documentary, “Venus and Serena” is produced and directed by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major and is on demand April 4th and releases in theaters May 10.
Samantha Ofole-Prince is a journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news that includes television and film. She serves as the Entertainment Editor for Trendy Africa.
Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures and Royalty Image
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