Sunshine (1999)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  14 July 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 10,825 users   Metascore: 71/100
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The fate of a Hungarian Jewish family throughout the 20th century.



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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 venerable courtyard and house used as the Sonnenschein family home in the film is, in actuality, the house where director István Szabó grew up. See more »


When Ivan and Carole have a brief talk on the banks of the Danube near the bridge, we see evening traffic on the quay at the opposite side of the river, with a considerable amount of cars passing by, headlights on. There would not have been this amount of traffic in Budapest in the 1950s. See more »


Valerie: [talking to Ivan Sors] I left your grandfather once. I fell in love with another man. Your grandfather and I hadn't been getting along. He wasn't the sort of person I hoped he'd be. The other man was passionate, a wonderful lover. That is important, darling. He gave me an old medallion engraved with: "I love you."
Valerie: When your grandfather get in trouble with the Communists, I came back. You must try to find joy in your life.
See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


The Sonnenscheins
(end title)
Composed by Maurice Jarre
Performed by Catherine Bott
Runfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
See more »

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User Reviews

One Hundred Years of Sunshine
11 October 2005 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

This historical epic/family drama from the master of Hungarian cinema, Istvan Szabo (Mephisto, 1981; Being Julia, 2004) is a wonderful and memorable film that has been overlooked, underrated and sadly under-seen.

This is a moving and always engrossing drama about one Jewish-Hungarian family that rises and falls throughout the 20th century. Ralph Fiennes is outstanding as the grandfather, the father and the grandson. All three - complex and tragic characters, victims of their times, politics and wars. I think it was a brilliant idea to cast one actor as a face of three generations of one family. If ever anyone attempts to adapt Marquez's "One Hundreds Years of Solitude", that's how it should be done, IMO.

"Sunshine" is three hours long but never for a minute had I felt it was too long or it was losing its power. It is a serious, thought-provoking film which is also a superb work of art.


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