7.5/10
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122 user 67 critic

Sunshine (1999)

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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:

$84,869, 11 June 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,095,981, 4 February 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Valerie: Politics has made a mess of our lives.
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Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Hungarian National Anthem
Written by Ferenc Erkel, Kölcsey
Performed by Vám és Pénzügyörség Zenekara
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User Reviews

 
Holocaust Fatigue?
8 February 2005 | by gelman@attglobal.netSee all my reviews

Schindler's List was apparently enough for most film goers. "Sunshine," superior to "Schindler" in many respects, got fewer accolades and much less attention. Why do I think "Sunshine" is superior to "Schindler?" Primarily because it tells the story of the Holocaust through the lens of a single family whose pre-Holocaust history gives a dimension and depth to the tragedy of that family that "Schlinder" is incapable of providing because of its quite different narrative strategy and focus. To be sure, "Schindler's" narrative sweep affords a greater sense than "Sunshine" of the scope of the slaughter. But "Sunshine" stands in relation to "Schindler" as a novel stands to a work of history. One brings the insights offered by individual tragedies, the other brings more of a societal perspective. The best "Holocaust" film, however, remains in this viewer's opinion, "The Pawnbroker" with Rod Stieger, which had an even narrower focus than "Sunshine" and brought the horror of the Holocaust to life by exploring the emotional desolation/death suffered by a single survivor. A truly great film.


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