Film Screening 8th May, 2001

Poster for Sunshine


8:00 PM, 8th May, 2001

  • MA
  • 180 mins
  • 1999
  • Istvan Szabo
  • Istvan Szabo, Israel Horowitz
  • Ralph Fiennes, Jennifer Ehle, Rosemary Harris

Directed by Istvan Szabo (Mephisto, Colonel Redl), Sunshine tells the story of three generations of a Jewish family living through 60 years of turbulent Hungarian history. In Budapest, Emmanuel Sonnenshein (whose surname means "sunshine") founds a distillery business. His two sons follow different paths: Ignatz rises to prominence as a lawyer and judge in the twilight years of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Gustave is a socialist and opponent of the regime. Both vie for the affections of their cousin Valerie, who marries Ignatz. In order to fit into Hungarian society, they change their Jewish-sounding surname to Sors. Both Ignatz's marriage and the empire come apart following World War One. Ignatz's son, Adam, faces anti-Semiticism from an early age. He converts to Christianity and joins the officer's fencing club. Driven by his patriotism and his need to prove himself, Adam competes in the 1936 Olympics. His son Ivan becomes an interrogator for the post-war Stalinist regime and discovers anti-Semiticism under a different name. This is a magnificent production, with Fiennes compelling in the three principal male roles.

Tony Fidanza