7.5/10
12,463
125 user 67 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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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Ehle, who plays Young Valerie, is the daughter of Rosemary Harris, who plays Older Valerie. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ivan Sors: [speaking to the graveside of Andor Knorr] Andor Knorr, one of your murderers has come to your grave, to say goodbye to you. I was your first interrogator, someone who you trained to defend the cause without mercy. We believed we were going to make the world better place for people, but, instead, we made it so much worse. As servants of power-hungry criminals, we became criminals. Our politicians lied to the people by saying they were doing good. And then the people lied to the politicians by ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Wedding March
Composed by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Arranged by Patrick Russ
Performed by Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (as Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchestra Berlin)
See more »

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User Reviews

Significant, powerful, and brilliantly/beautifully executed
27 August 2000 | by ebyrneSee all my reviews

One of the best films I've seen in many years. Long by current standards, but my interest/involvement never lagged for a moment. It works on many levels, all of which examine and ultimately show the futility of assimilation, given how unstable and unreliable is any governmental structure with which one attempts to identify. Effort to assimilate across generations in Hungary becomes increasingly demanding as the lived world becomes ever more dehumanizing and brutal. Fiennes has never been better in cross-generational roles, and others excellent as well. But a woman is the censor and conscience across time.


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