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
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 »
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 »
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 ...
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Now I am sorry that I missed to see this film on a big movie screen. Beautiful cinematography, great story and excellent performances. During watching the movie, being Hungarian, I kept asking myself: A complete, intriguing story - but is it as appealing to people from other countries, particularly outside Europe as it is for me to watch my country's history throughout the 19th and 20th century? I was pleasantly surprised and flattered that people from Colombia or New Zealand have found interest in the history of this small nation although, considering the length of it as well as the fact that this tale is limited to follow a story of one small country, I can understand the reviewers who found it boring. But then again the fact that the story is being taken place in Hungary is only one side of the coin and the rest of the strong messages can be applied to any people in any nations.
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