The Year After Year Blogathon – Sunshine (1999)

This is the first of three posts for The Year After Year Blogathon being hosted by Steve of the Movie Movie Blog Blog.

Tnx for letting me participate!

“Never give up your religion. Not for God. God is present in all religions. But if your life becomes a struggle for acceptance, you’ll always be unhappy. Religion may not be perfect, but it is a well-built boat that can stay balanced and carry you to the other shore. Our life is nothing but a boat adrift on water balanced by permanent uncertainty. About the people whom you will judge, know this; all they do is struggle to find a kind of security. They’re just people, like us. Therefore you mustn’t judge them on the basis of appearance or hearsay. Trust no one. Examine all things yourself. Do not join with power. Despise all rank. Do not be ostentatious with what is yours. Owning possessions and property ultimately comes to nothing. Possessions and property can be consumed by fire, swept away by flood, taken away by politics. Do not undertake what you do not know. This causes anxiety which makes you ill. Exercise discipline.” – Adam Sors

Number of Times Seen – Twice (5 Feb 2002 and 2 Jan 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Three generation of a Jewish Hungarian family try to hold on to their faith and principles despite the various regimes that come to power and fade away.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing on DVD and loving every minute of this epic story.

The idea to tell the story of three generations of a family affected by the various governments in Hungary over more than half a century is a great idea because they get to show how much as things change, they essentially stay the same.

The way the story is told is done quite powerfully and they manage to show how personal this story must be to writer/director István Szabó since it obviously is dear to his own heart.

The arc of the story itself shows such a powerful perspective on things and as the story moves along, it gets even more and more poignant in what it seems to be trying to tell us.

The choice to use Ralph Fiennes in triple roles was a great one especially given the fact that he is able to make each of his 3 characters seem unique and different from the others.

The way that this film gives us a history of the various regimes in Hungary over the years works well because we get to see how each is able to somehow affect this family for better or for worse along the way.

This film is 3 hours long, yet it still feels too short a run time and is as if there is so much more to tell about these characters if given the opportunity to do so.

This film is done so well and works to keep things entertaining the whole way through.

Bottom Line – Such a powerful film that manages to give us just a taste of life in Hungary for a family over the course of more than half a century.  Fiennes is superb in the lead and the fact that he portrays 3 different characters, he is able to make each one unique and individual in all that they do.  It’s great to see how the various wars and regimes affect the life of a family who want to try and succeed in everything that they do.  Even at 3 hours, this film doesn’t feel long enough and I’m sure that they could have told us even more about these characters if allowed. This film feels very personal for the writer/director István Szabó and that makes things even more emotional when thinking about the arc of the film and how things play out over time.  Expertly done!  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – 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. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


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7 thoughts on “The Year After Year Blogathon – Sunshine (1999)

  1. Pingback: Announcing THE YEAR AFTER YEAR BLOGATHON! |

  2. Pingback: THE YEAR AFTER YEAR BLOGATHON is here! |

  3. Pingback: THE YEAR AFTER YEAR BLOGATHON – Day 1 Recap |

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1999 | MovieRob

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