A visual jewel in the vein of Ingmar Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander," VENICE sees the world through the eyes of an imaginative boy named Marek who is coming-of-age in Poland in 1939. As war seems imminent, Marek is taken by his flighty mother from his military school to live in the crumbling manor that is his genteel family's home. Also in residence are his two creative aunts, his grandmother, a sexually curious servant girl, and his devout cousin Susie. As war begins to seep in through the magical woodlands surrounding the manor, Marek's mother leaves with a lover, men and boys go off to war, and those left behind face emotional and physical depravation. Marek, whose fondest dream is to one day visit Venice, persuades the family to take advantage of the flooded basement and turn it into a watery Venetian wonderland, complete with makeshift gondolas and musical performances softly lit by lanterns. As the seasons change and life at war goes on, Marek is confronted with the consequences of adult passions, which are almost more than he can bear.