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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

The Merchant of Venice

In 1996, Al Pacino was a passionate advocate for Shakespeare in Looking for Richard, a documentary he directed and financed. This year, Pacino takes a role in front of the camera playing Shylock to Jeremy Irons Antonio in The Merchant of Venice(opening January 28 at Landmarks La Jolla Village Theaters).

The new screen version of Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice opens with a stark depiction of what being a Jew in 16th century Vencie was like. You could not own property, you were restricted to certain parts of the city and Christians could openly abuse you.