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Sunshine

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Sunshine follows three generations of a Jewish family living in Hungary. The generations span from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Holocaust, to the end of the war. The different family members dealing with loss, betrayal, and the many problems they faced due to their religion during this time.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Sunshine image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film history Hungary Jew World War II family Communism USSR

Persons of interest

  • Ralph Fiennes .... Ignatz Sonnenschein, Adam Sors, Ivan Sors
  • Rosemary Harris .... Valerie Sors
  • Rachel Weisz .... Greta
  • Jennifer Ehle .... Valerie Sonnenschein
  • Deborah Kara Unger .... Major Carole Kovacs
  • Molly Parker .... Hannah Wippler
  • James Frain .... Gustave Sonnenschein
  • David de Keyser .... Emmanuel Sonnenschein
  • John Neville .... Gustave Sors
  • Miriam Margolyes .... Rose Sonnenschein
  • Rüdiger Vogler .... General Jakofalvy
  • Mark Strong .... Istvan Sors
  • Trevor Peacock .... Comrade General Kope
  • Hanns Zischler .... Baron Margitta
  • Mari Törõcsik .... Older Kato
  • Katja Studt .... Kato
  • Péter Andorai .... Anselmi
  • Péter Halász .... Wild Duck
  • Israel Horovitz .... Screenwriter
  • István Szabó .... Screenwriter
  • István Szabó .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Forrest Gumpstein.

Change the dumb American (tautology?) experiencing every significant event in modern USA history into a Jew experiencing every significant event in 20th century Hungarian history and take out some of the jokes. All right, a lot of the jokes. You don't end up with a happy Hollywood comedy but you do get a long, deep look at the unfolding of world events - Nazism, WWII, Communism, revolution, democracy - at a personal level. A documentary it's not, a drama it is.

It's a good thing that Ignatz, Adam and Ivan are all related because Ralph Fiennes plays them all. That's a great conceit from István but it makes things difficult to remember because they all happen to the same guy. Don't get your me wrong, Ralph does an adequate job of defining the three men in their various stages of life, but they all look and sound alike despite various beards, glasses and haircuts (cf. Nutty professor 2: The Klumps). Jennifer and Rosemary as Valerie (they're daughter and mother in real life) have the much better role because they maintain the same character through all the turmoil, giving you the chance to see how they affect one person who lives through the whole thing.

The cinematography ranges from harsh, stunted realism to glorious, romantic fantasy and back again as the various governments take control of Hungary. For all you up-and-coming directors, this is an example of the outside world representing the inside world. It adds a further dimension to the work of the actors and the script that plays upon the audience's subconscious in ways that mere words cannot; they're only 1000 for every picture, right?

Is Sunshine long? Yes it is: three hours is a damned long time to sit anywhere - even in a cinema - without a toilet break. Fortunately for you the film is of high enough quality that you can jump in and lose yourself, overcoming the need to evacuate some of your inner organs. Of course, they don't give you those big drink cups for nothing...

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level sex scenes, medium level violence)

Surveillance time

180 minutes (3:00 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 26 December 2000
DVD rental: 8 February 2002
VHS rental: 8 February 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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