7.5/10
12,733
125 user 69 critic

Sunshine (1999)

The fate of a Hungarian Jewish family throughout the 20th century.

Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

István Szabó (story), István Szabó (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Ignatz Sonnenschein / Adam Sors / Ivan Sors
Rosemary Harris ... Valerie Sors
Rachel Weisz ... Greta
Jennifer Ehle ... Valerie Sonnenschein
Deborah Kara Unger ... Maj. Carole Kovács
Molly Parker ... Hannah Wippler
James Frain ... Gustave Sonnenschein
David de Keyser David de Keyser ... Emmanuel Sonnenschein
John Neville ... Gustave Sors
Miriam Margolyes ... Rose Sonnenschein
Rüdiger Vogler ... Gen. Jakofalvy
Mark Strong ... István Sors
Bill Paterson ... Minister of Justice
Trevor Peacock ... Comrade Gen. Kope
Hanns Zischler ... Baron Margitta
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Storyline

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 <gatsby@freemail.hu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

En skæbnefortælling om tre generationer i kamp for at overleve. [Denmark] See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ivan Sors: For the first time in my life, I walked down the street without feeling like I was in hiding. My great grandfather Emmanuel must have been the last Sonnenschein to feel like this. I knew the only way to find meaning in my life, my only chance in life, would be to account for it. My grandmother's words return to me; "Try to photograph what's beautiful in life." By the time I finish this story, the third tragic misadventure of the 20th century was over. After the monarchy and fascist rule, the ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Best Films of 2000 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt
Performed by Balázs Hantos, László Molnár, János Suki, Sándor Ürmös, András Puporka,
Pál Járóka
See more »

User Reviews

 
An amazing historical portrait
3 September 2003 | by luby_mattSee 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.


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Details

Country:

Germany | Austria | Canada | Hungary | France | UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 July 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Taste of Sunshine See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,700, 19 December 1999

Gross USA:

$5,096,267

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,918,035
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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