"Superstar Tennis Sisters and the Power of Perseverance"
What You Need To Know:
VENUS AND SERENA is well shot. The clever editing weaves together two stories into one as Serena and Venus struggle to work through illness and pain in 2011. VENUS AND SERENA has a light Christian, moral worldview, with several positive themes such as faith, perseverance and redemption. The blood clot in Serena’s lung moved her to draw closer to God and realize how important her Christian faith is. Both human strength and human frailty are on display. However, caution is still advised for VENUS AND SERENA, especially for pre-teenagers, due to some foul language and talk of divorce.
(C, B, LL, V, A, M) Light Christian, moral worldview as one famous tennis players speaks of getting closer to God as she overcomes a potentially fatal blockage in her lung artery, plus movie extols perseverance; 20 obscenities and one profanity; no violence depicted, but family speaks about loss of Venus and Serena’s sister Yetunde murdered in a drive-by shooting, and Richard recalls when he was young being struck with railroad iron rod in leg because he stood up to racially oppressive white males; no sex; no nudity; alcohol bottle seen as people celebrate at party with title characters; no smoking or illegal drugs but woman takes prescription drug injection in stomach during her recovery from blood clot in her lung; and, family dysfunction concerning references to Williams sisters’ parents divorce, racism and poor sportsmanship.
VENUS AND SERENA is a candid story of the power perseverance displayed in the careers of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. The movie tells their story from the year 2011 when Serena was hospitalized due to life-threatening clotting of her lung artery. Also, Venus deals with an autoimmune disorder that drains all her energy. This story is intercut with their past, scenes of the duo’s humble beginnings in the ghetto of Compton, California, and the trials and triumphs of their present lives.
VENUS AND SERENA is well shot and creatively put together to tell a captivating story. For example, tight close-ups of Serena as she comically comments about her various personalities to fit her mood or activity are intercut with shots of her displaying her different personalities. The clever placement of shots in the editing weaves two stories together into one as Serena and Venus struggle to come back and work through illness and pain in 2011. Although the footage is shot with Venus and Serena at home, on the courts, in the hospital, and even a closet, the audio is clear and subtitles are given when necessary. There are also a number of celebrity appearances and interviews with Billie Jean King, Jogn McEnroe, Chris Rock, and President Bill Clinton.
VENUS AND SERENA gives a rare behind-the-scenes look into the lives of these two athletes on and off the court. They are inseparable and enjoy each other’s company when at home. They speak about their love of tennis despite challenges, such as health issues and coping with racism. Venus and Serena also express their love and appreciation both of their parents for their coaching and support, although the parents divorced when the girls reached adulthood. One recurring theme is to never forget your roots, even spiritually. Their parents made sure the Williams sisters did not forget their heritage as African Americans. Their mother reminded them to celebrate their blackness, so as their fame grew as adolescents, they continued to wear their hair natural, donning their signature braids and beads.
VENUS AND SERENA has several positive themes such as faith, perseverance and redemption, but there is some foul language requiring caution, especially for pre-teenagers. VENUS AND SERENA has a light Christian, moral worldview. Serena’s experience on the long road to recovery once the blood clot was discovered in her lung compelled her to draw closer to God and realize how important her Christian faith truly is to her. VENUS AND SERENA shows both the epitome of human strength as well as the frailty of human beings, and the ultimate power of God’s grace and personal humility.