1999, Germany-Austria-Canada-Hungary-France-UK-USA, Language: English, Subtitles: Hungarian (172’); Screening: 09.09, 19.00, Toldi Cinema, Nagyterem

István Szabó’s synthesis work is a vast historical panorama of the 20th century, the outline of which he traces through the depiction of a single Jewish family. Here, Szabó illuminates the Sonnenschein family suffering under a series of dictatorships from the point of view – once again – of an individual’s search for a sense of security.  All three main characters (grandfather-father-son) are played by Ralph Fiennes. Ignác, the magistrate fiercely loyal to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, is a workaholic; his strong desire to conform to the monarchy is kept under strict control. He is the one to Hungarianize the family name to Sors (Fate). His son Ádám, a champion fencer, is baptised and becomes an Olympic winner, but all in vain: he ends his days in a Nazi death camp, where he is killed in front of his son. The grandchild redeems the destruction of the family as a member of the state security apparatus ÁVO, yet disillusioned with the dictatorship, in the final analysis he stands by the 1956 Uprising.

 

Directed by: István Szabó
Screenplay by: István Szabó, Israel Horovitz
Director of photography: Lajos Koltai
Music by: Maurice Jarre Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Jennifer Ehle, Rosemary Harris, Rachel Weisz, Molly Parker, Mari Törőcsik
Genre: historical drama
Production: Alliance Atlantis, Serendipity Point Films, Kinowelt Filmproduktion
Format: black and white/colour, 1.85:1

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