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
When Adam Sors returns to Budapest after the 1936 Olympics, there is a brief shot of the train station in Budapest showing several Bzmot type trains that were first put in use in 1977. See more »
[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."
When your grandfather get in trouble with the Communists, I came back. You must try to find joy in your life.
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This epic crowns the legendary career of Istvan Szabo
SUNSHINE, the latest epic from arguably Central Europe's greatest living director of his generation, crowns a distinguished career. Many details of his earlier work, including the Sonnenschein name for the Jewish family (from the name of the Hungarian Imperial Jewish Doctor in COLONEL REDL) are evident; particularly themes and period touches from his brilliant trilogy, MEPHISTO, COLONEL REDL, HANUSSEN). OK. So Klaus Maria is missing. He is really unique. But who better than the brilliant Ralph Fiennes (awarded the 1999 European Best Actor "Oscar" for this performance last December)as the lead "Sunshine" patriarch? Make that three "Sunshine/Sors/Sonnenschein" patriarchs, all with their own nuances, all very in tune with his period, and character. And who better to play the "Sunshine" matriarch than the recent Tony winner Jennifer Ehle, as the younger Matriarch, followed by her own (obviously look alike) mother, the great Rosemary Harris, as her older self? The film is full of masterful strokes like these. After an Oscar-qualifying run in late December, the film was just re-released (I saw it in New York ten days ago), and will be expanding throughout America soon. Don't miss this masterpiece on the big screen, where it can really be appreciated.
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