Friday, January 20, 2006

Budapest Sun on Sunshine

A Hungarian perspective.

Despite the strong and often shameful subject matter, Sunshine is a film for which Hungarians can be really proud. Directed by István Szabó, the epic spans generations and covers weighty topics such as history, religion, roots, love, hatred and prejudice. It is the first film for a long while to earn the title of a truly great work of cinema.
Gustav (James Frain), the left-wing conscience of the story, is in love with his adopted sister Vali who falls for Ignác (Fiennes). Vali’s character is played by the talented actress Jennifer Ehle (This year’s love, Wilde), her real life mother actress Rosemary Harris plays Vali in later life.

Although the three characters Ignác, son Ádám and grandson Iván are all played by Fiennes, it seems like Vali is at the real core of the film. Her character spans the generations, and as a photographer she observes the events of history, both personal and the larger east European tragedy.

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