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Isabel and Clara are growing up in a time of terror. It is 1492, and Spain has decreed that all Jews must either convert to Catholicism, go into exile or face trial and execution. Although forcibly baptized, the sisters are chased through Christendom until they arrive in Venice. It is in this great maritime empire, where opulence rhymes with tolerance, that Isabel organizes secret passages for refugees fleeing the Inquisition while Clara falls in love with a Venetian noble, Paolo Zane. Isabel intends for her family to go to Istanbul, the only place where Jews can live freely, but Clara is reluctant to leave. She challenges Isabel's authority and is prepared to break her family ties and sacrifice her faith for love. Caught in this battle of wills is Clara's daughter, Victoria, who finds she is about to be married into the same faith that murdered her father. Written by
Important story of the Christian inquisition against Jews
Since I know previous works of the Bosnian director Kenovic (Kuduz and The Perfect Circle), I really had high expectations for "Secret Passage". Well, I can say I was not disappointed, au contraire, this movie is really nicely done, from the manuscript, cinematography to acting. I was stunned by Katherine Borowitz who plays Isabel, but also by Hannah Taylor-Gordon who plays Victoria. These two actresses have fantastic expression that adds an extra value to this very good movie. I am glad John Turturro found his place in the movie, because I think he is a great actor with great potential, that could and should be used in projects not usual for his roles. But although he did good job, I believe he was somewhat misplaced in the movie, but I am not sure... maybe because I am used to watch him in more contemporary films.
I loved the story. It shows us how the Jewish were treated in the Christian Europe, when the witch hunt and Inquisition were almost national sports.
Kenovic has great eye for details and aesthetics. The scenes are wonderfully set, and I enjoyed every moment in and around Venice. I can warmly recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in history and beautifully shot films.
It bothers me that Ademir Kenovic does not direct movies more often (his mostly a producer), because he is very talented director.
8 out of 10.
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