Synopsis by Mark Deming
Siblings attempting to flee religious persecution in Europe near the close of the 15th century find themselves torn apart by greed and jealousy in this historical drama. Isabel (Katherine Borowitz), Clara (Tara Fitzgerald), and Victoria (Hannah Taylor-Gordon) are three sisters from a family of Portuguese Jews who have been forced to fend for themselves after their wealthy parents died while trying to escape the wrath of the Spanish Inquisition. Isabel has appointed herself head of the household, acting as teenaged Victoria's guardian and giving Clara little say in the family's affairs. The sisters have relocated to Italy while trying to arrange a passage to Istanbul, where greater tolerance is shown to Jews; in Venice, they are allowed to live outside the city's dilapidated Jewish ghetto only as long at they attend Catholic services on a regular basis. Clara makes the acquaintance of Paolo (John Turturro), a charming British expatriate, and is quite taken with him until he proposes a marriage between his son and Victoria, leaving her to wonder if he wants to get his hands on the family fortune. Isabel, meanwhile, puts her siblings in jeopardy by attempting to steal the trade secrets of a leading Venetian glass blower and sell them to a group of Turks, a risky matter that could literally cost Isabel her life.
anti-Semitism, daughter, Jewish, love, prejudice, refugee, sister, Christianity