Sunshine (1999 film)

Sunshine (1999 Film)

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Sunshine (1999 film)

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Sunshine is a 1999 historical film written by Israel Horovitz and István Szabó, directed and produced by István Szabó. It follows three generations of a Jewish family (originally called Sonnenschein, a name that literally means "sunshine" in German, but later changed to Sors, meaning "fate" in Hungarian) during the changes in Hungary from the beginning of the 20th century to the period after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The central male protagonist of all three generations is portrayed by Ralph Fiennes. The film also stars the real-life mother and daughter team of Rosemary Harris and Jennifer Ehle as well as Rachel Weisz and John Neville.

Although fictional, the film weaves events drawn from several real sources into the story. The Sunshine family's liquor business was based on the Zwack family's liquor brand Unicum. One of Fiennes's three roles is based at least partly on Hungarian Olympian Attila Petschauer, but also includes allusions to the early life of Miksa Fenyő and other famous Hungarians of Jewish origin who suffered from anti-Semitism and the persecution of Jews in World War II Hungary. Another role in the film which is similar to that of a historic person is the character Andor Knorr played by William Hurt which closely resembles the latter part of the life of László Rajk.

The film was an international co-production among companies from Germany, Austria, Hungary and Canada. It won the Genie Award for Best Canadian Film.

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