Trendy Film Report: Venus and Serena Make Their Debut at The Toronto Film Festival


It was just a matter of time before Venus and Serena Williams would be the subject of a film dedicated to the cross-section of every piece of their vibrantly sculptured landscape, embedded with pebbles that represent their meteoric rise and infallible success.


Director-producers Maiken Baird and Michelle Major were armed and ready to use their wealth of resources and enviable access to the Williams sisters to graphically translate how they both accurately dramatize the American Dream. Venus and Serena, is a documentary that fulfills our need to get an understanding of how two girls from Compton, California could become superheroes in the unforgivingly competitive world of tennis, especially when you consider their somewhat humble beginnings.

The filmmakers also recruited the expertise of an impressive array of cultural dignitaries, including Bill Clinton, Anna Wintour and Chris Rock, who expressed his disbelief at the fact that two dark-skinned girls were literally rocking the core foundation of a sport mostly dominated by Caucasians.

It should make for an interesting and arrestingly charming film even though both Venus and Serena revoked their support for the project simply because of the way their father and longtime caretaker Richard Williams is portrayed. It is no secret that he was and still is the maestro and visionary, who stopped at nothing to get his girls securely positioned at the pinnacle of success. He was a hungry, passionate slave driver who saw fame and fortune oozing out of his daughters pores and did all he could do to manifest the possibilities.

His relentless spirit paid off and what we have now are world-class champions who are wealthy beyond imagination and heroic global trailblazers.

Critics are not quite satisfied with the finished product, and wish that the uncomfortably challenging topics could have been further explored and prodded, but at the end of the day, these two girls are fascinating enough to hold anybody’s attention.