Sunshine (1999)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  14 July 2000 (USA)
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The fate of a Hungarian Jewish family throughout the 20th century.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ignatz Sonnenschein / Adam Sors / Ivan Sors
Valerie Sors
Valerie Sonnenschein
Maj. Carole Kovács
Hannah Wippler
Gustave Sonnenschein
David de Keyser ...
Emmanuel Sonnenschein
Gustave Sors
Rose Sonnenschein
Rüdiger Vogler ...
Gen. Jakofalvy
István Sors
Minister of Justice
Comrade Gen. Kope
Hanns Zischler ...
Baron Margitta


The film follows a Jewish family living in Hungary through three generations, rising from humble beginnings to positions of wealth and power in the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire. The patriarch becomes a prominent judge but is torn when his government sanctions anti-Jewish persecutions. His son converts to Christianity to advance his career as a champion fencer and Olympic hero, but is caught up in the Holocaust. Finally, the grandson, after surviving war, revolution, loss and betrayal, realizes that his ultimate allegiance must be to himself and his heritage. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a time of revolution, in a family torn by tradition, one man was consumed by love. See more »


Drama | History | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for violence, language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

14 July 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Taste of Sunshine  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$84,869 (USA) (9 June 2000)


$5,095,981 (USA) (2 February 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of Adam Sonnenschein/Sors draws heavily upon the life and death of two great Hungarian Jewish sabreurs, 'Attila Petschauer' and Endre Kabos (winner of the Olympic Gold in Sabre at the 1936 Berlin Games). Tragically, neither survived World War II and the Holocaust. See more »


When fencing for the gold medal, Adam Sors' opponent has his foot way across the line at the start. This would never be allowed at the Olympics. See more »


Adam Sors: We are afraid to see clearly and of being seen clearly.
See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


Veni creator spiritu
Arranged by Patrick Russ
Performed by Runfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
See more »

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User Reviews

An amazing historical portrait
3 September 2003 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

I enjoy European history a great deal, but when my European history class tried to find a good modern European history movie this year, all we could think of was a bunch of war movies. Obviously, there is a lot more to modern Europe than watching snipers creep around Stalingrad and other such things.

In "Sunshine," I found an answer to my search. It is undoubtedly the best historical portrait of Europe from the late 19th-mid 20th century that I have ever come across. It does an EXCELLENT job of showing the emotions and realities of the progressions of Europe during this time. Since it is in Hungary, we are exposed to monarchy, fascism, and communism, all of which are portrayed vividly.

As if the history was not enough, the movie is wonderful in other ways as well. Ralph Fiennes has the opportunity to showcase an amazing range of emotions and personalities in this movie, as he plays three different characters. It was also pure genius on the part of the movie staff to cast a real life mother and daughter to play the same woman at various stages of her life.

Great movie, I highly recommend it.

62 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Concentration camp scene. geraniumkiss
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