The Merchant of Venice
Michael Radford, who previously made the delicate Il Postino, takes on this challenge of a film version of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. In the 1500s Venice, influenced by anti-Semitism, the jew Shylock is approached by the rich merchant Antonio. Antonio is temporarily short of money and needs a loan to help his young friend Bassanio woo the wealthy Portia. Shylock agrees to the loan but requires a pound of flesh from Antonio's body if the money is not paid back on time.