Sunshine (1999) - full transcript

The film follows a Jewish family living in Hungary through three generations, rising from humble beginnings to positions of wealth and power in the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire. The patriarch becomes a prominent judge but is torn when his government sanctions anti-Jewish persecutions. His son converts to Christianity to advance his career as a champion fencer and Olympic hero, but is caught up in the Holocaust. Finally, the grandson, after surviving war, revolution, loss and betrayal, realizes that his ultimate allegiance must be to himself and his heritage.

This boy, my great-grandfather,
Emmanuel Sonnenschein,

Emmanuel Sonnenschein,
was only 12 years old...

when he left his village
in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

He had to find work to support
his mother and a brother...

because his father,
the village tavern keeper,

died during an explosion
in his distillery.


The tavern keeper
was much loved in his village.

His tonic,
distilled from local herbs,

helped many of his neighbors
back to health.

The secret recipe
for the tonic...

written in a black,
clothbound book...

was found amidst the rubble.

The black notebook hidden
in the lining of his coat...

was my great-grandfather's

Emmanuel found a job
in a Budapest distillery...

where he worked endless hours.

By the age of 25, he had built
his own house and distillery.

He brewed the herbal tonic,
following his father's recipe.

He called it Taste of Sunshine,
using our family name.

Sonnenschein means sunshine.

Emmanuel soon married
Rose Deutsch.

They had two sons: My great uncle
Gustave and Ignatz, my grandfather.

Taste of Sunshine
was an instant success.

When Emmanuel's
younger brother died,

Emmanuel and Rose adopted
the brother's orphaned daughter,


my grandmother.

Good night, darling.
Sweet dreams.

You'll wake up in the morning
happy, healthy and smiling.

God bless.
Good night.

One, two, three.


One, two, three.


My grandmother
Valerie was raised...

as if she were Ignatz
and Gustave's sister.

Valerie developed a passion...

for the world's newest miracle:

Ignatz decided to study law,
Gustave, medicine.

None of Emmanuel's children
had any interest...

in taking up the family business.

My great-grandfather
didn't mind.

He was proud of his children
and their ambitions.

Here, everybody.

Try moving away
from the tree.

Wait. Up. Go, go...
Move back a little bit.

Move back.

A little bit further.

Now to your right.
Just a little bit.

Yes. Stop.

Don't move.

My little sister...

I love you very much.

I love you very much as well.

I love you differently
from the way...

I love Gustave
and Father and Mother.

I love you
differently too.

Your little sister misses you
when you're away at school.

So I'm glad you're home.

I shall have to get back
to Vienna soon.

- Take me with you.
- I will.

You didn't plant them?
They just blossomed?

Yes, they did.

This morning.

Mr. Sonnenschein,
this is a miracle!

Could someone please
move that chair?



Where are they?

off somewhere kissing.

- Gustave!
- What are you saying?

I suggest looking
in the museum gardens.

They tend to go in there.

- Sorry we're late.
- Sorry.

There's too much salt
in this soup.

Then the cook must be in love.

You must have
made the soup then.

What do you mean
by that, Gustave?

You and Ignatz kissing
in the museum garden yesterday,

- and Tuesday.
- Have you gone mad?

Please don't cry, Rose.
I beg you.

Come with me... now.

I forbid you.

Almighty God is great in nature
and the laws of nature,

and those laws forbid marriage
between brother and sister.

But we're not brother and sister.
We are cousins.

I... had a cousin
that I loved.

Sarah Bettelheim.

Our grandfather
forbade us to marry.

He said there was a curse
on the marriage...

between people
of the same blood.

I love Valerie.
I want to marry her.

"Want" is not a word
for us, Ignatz.

God wants.
We wish for.

We must obey
what God wants of us.

I did.

God wants us to live
without power and lust,

two things that bring us to destroy
other people and then to destroy us.

And in return,
He gives us knowledge,

the ability to read
and interpret...

and He gives us
family love.

I love you. I'll always love you
because you're my sister.

I'll never abandon you
as your brother.

Don't love me out of duty.
Your mother raised me out of duty.

Yes, but you'll get married,
and you'll have children.

- We'll always be friends.
- Don't give me up so quickly.

You give into them
like a good little boy.

I must leave.

I'll write to you.

No, don't write to me
unless you intend to tell me...

you love me
and not your sister.

"But, darling,
I'm in a dreadful state.

"I can't stop hearing
what you said to me.

"When you went back to Vienna,
I cried all afternoon.

"I can't help feeling that
you've had enough of me,

"that you find me ugly
and stupid and...

"I have to see you.
I have to speak to you.

"I have to know if you've
really stopped loving me...

"or if you're
just obeying our parents.

"Why would you want
to love me as a sister?

"I would move
mountains for you.

I'm in love with you."

In Vienna, Ignatz reread
Valerie's letter a dozen times,

but kept his promise
to his father...

and never replied
to his cousin.

Ignatz threw himself
into his studies,

but lay awake each night
dreaming only of Valerie.

Mr. Sonnenschein, a Miss
Sonnenschein is here to see you.

You may leave
your umbrella here.

When I'm lying in your arms,
I feel like I've come home.

Like I've finally come home.

I have to pee.

So do I.

When he finished his studies,

Ignatz returned to Budapest
and to his family.

For Emmanuel,
my grandfather Ignatz...

was the greatest achievement
of his life.


Ladies and gentlemen, I give
you Dr. Ignatz Sonnenschein,

doctor of law
in the Austro-Hungarian Empire...

and Kingdom of Hungary who has
come home to live with us.

Hurry up. Your mother's waiting.

We ask Almighty God to bestow
His blessing on you, my son.

We also remember with gratitude
my dear father...

who perished
in a tragic fire,

but left us with knowledge that has
enabled the Sonnenschein family...

to progress from village
tavern keepers to city lawyers.

We are grateful
to Almighty God...

for having spared us
my father's recipe book...

for his herbal tonic.

And now, Mrs. Sonnenschein,

you first.

Last night
I dreamt we lost the recipe.

- What happened, Father?
- My goodness.

I stood on a boat, drifting.

You were all with me.

The boat began rocking
from side to side.

I sat in the middle,
just... steadying the boat.

An enormous wave
washed over us...

and the family's
recipe book was lost.

It was only a dream, Papa.

Please, God,
may we always go on singing.

I invoke the right
for the first night.


Don't be frightened.

We're already doomed to hell.
We might as well enjoy it.

Success came quickly
to my grandfather.

He became a judge,
fulfilling a childhood dream.

In the name of the Emperor,
I hereby call this trial to order.

When you
sit in judgment of people,

never forget who you are.

And to help you

This was your
grandfather's watch.

It's the watch of a village
tavern keeper.

Now it's yours.

And this...
is for your desk.

"Take nothing on trust.

See everything for yourself.
This is your father's advice."

- What?
- I was wondering how it would be...

making love with
a district court judge.

You're judging a judge?
Your verdict, please.

The judge is a hard man.

His sentences
are often stiff,

but always passionate.

The verdict
is a life sentence.

Come in, Sonnenschein.
Come in.

Sit down.

- Cigar?
- No, thank you.

- You don't smoke?
- Yes, I do smoke.

Then have a cigar.
Go on, please.

speaks highly of you.

They say you're incorruptible
and quite learned.

We're considering you
for the Central Court.

I'm honored, sir,
but perhaps I'm a bit young.

No, not at all.

I must speak frankly with you.

I hope what I say
will not offend you.

It's not possible for the Central
Court to have a presiding judge...

with a name like Sonnenschein.

We'd like to promote you.
We trust you.

We need you...

but you will have to change your
name to something more Hungarian.

- I see.
- Naturally,

this is just friendly advice,

Nothing like
an official request.

Yes, of course, sir.

At the end of the day,
the decision has to be yours.

Thank you, sir.
I'm honored.

What do you think of
when you hear the name Sonnenschein?

My lover.

- Suppose it's not me?
- Me.

What if it's someone
not related to us?

- Someone Jewish.
- Not necessarily.

Well, definitely not Hungarian.

The Chief Justice told me
I'd have to change my name...

to something more Hungarian if
I want to be a Central Court judge.

What are you going to do?

Don't cry, please.

I beg you.

Does this mean you intend
to abandon the faith?

No, Father. I would never.
I swear to you.

Neither would I.

You want to change
your name as well?

Yes, Papa, I do.

- And you?
- Other young doctors have done it.

Not just Jews either.
Slovaks, Serbs.

I see.

Well, names are not
given to us by God.

May I have a second serving
of carp, Mrs. Sonnenschein.

Beautifully prepared.

- What about Solyom?
- Solti?

- Somlo?
- I have it. Sor.

It means the same thing
in Latin and in Hungarian.

"Prophesy, fate,
destiny, task."

Dr. Gustave Sors. Couldn't
we pick a more common name?

Dr. Gustave Sors. Couldn't
we pick a more common name?

Sors is perfect.

The Minister of the Interior
has approved your application.

The name Dr. Ignatz Sonnenschein
is changed to Dr. Ignatz Sors.

Please sign the declaration.

Dr. Gustave

your name is now
Dr. Gustave Sors.

Valerie Sors.

- Oh, I'm sorry.
- Just cross it out and sign again.

Good afternoon,

We're going to have a baby.

But you're my sister.

I'm hardly your sister.
I'm your cousin.

My mother will murder me.

Me too.

I love you very much.

- Sorry I'm late.
- You're always late.

My dear Mother and Father,
I have an announcement to make.

I'm asking for Valerie's hand
in marriage.

According to the law, we are not
doing anything illegal.

We have been in love
with each other for years now.

Our feelings haven't lessened...

She's only fainted, Father.
She'll be fine.

You think your fiancé
could give me a hand?

A glass of Sunshine tonic,

Here, drink this.

I don't know what to do.

I told you not to take her in,
but you insisted!

"My brother's child is an orphan.
This is our responsibility."

Your responsibility
is to your real family.

So now I'm insisting:
Get her out of the house!

Be quiet.

Why should I be quiet
in my own house?

Come to your senses
and forbid them to do it!

It's no use. Our children
aren't interested...

in warnings from their grandfather
nor even in God's curse.

She'll be interested
in my curse.

I curse her. May her womb dry up.
May she never have children!

- No!
- What do you want from me?

I want the mother of my children
to understand my children!

- She is not your child!
- Stop it!

If you can't keep your mouth shut,
I'll shut it!

Maybe you can talk to your
Sarah Bettelheim like that,

but not to me!

Not to me!

I'm your wife!





Winds of spring
now swell the seas.

my sweet, flower.



- I'll never forgive you, you know.
- What for?

Marrying him
instead of me.

My great-grandfather
Emmanuel remembered an afternoon...

when he, too, had hoped
for great happiness...

when he had asked his father
for permission...

to marry his cousin,
Sarah Bettelheim.

But permission was refused,
and Emmanuel hadn't allowed...

any real measure of happiness
into his life since then.

Whenever joy approached, Emmanuel
would immediately ask himself:

"What will come of this? What
terrible price will I have to pay?"

Here, everybody.

Honorable Minister,
may I introduce Dr. Ignatz Sors.

Ah, yes, your new favorite.
A most promising young judge.

My pleasure, Minister.

I trust you've seen
this morning's newspaper?

Two members of the Prime Minister's
office have been accused...

of selling information
to property speculators.

I can assure you it's
a filthy political move...

fabricated entirely
by the opposition.

From what I've read, there
are three points in the case...

which I find intriguing.

Do you think
the gentlemen are guilty?

I beg your pardon,
but if surprise evidence...

was to turn up in the courtroom,
then nothing can be done except...

- Except?
- Severe sentences for all of them.

What would you advise?

The case could be
sent back to the prosecution...

for further investigation to ensure
that no detail is overlooked.

This could be quite
a time-consuming process.

You're a bright young man.
I envy you.

One other small matter.
Five judges are about to retire.

We'll need
replacements quickly.

I would like
your recommendations.

Young men
who think like you.

You think you're clever
don't you?

- Yes, I think so.
- You are acting like a coward.

You are helping them
to cover up the case.

I think the opposition is trying
to bring down someone high up.

As far as I'm concerned, they can
bring down the entire government!

Why can't you see corruption's
at the very core of the monarchy?

No, at the core there is a liberal,
fair-minded ruler...

who's able to keep peace among
many different kinds of people.

- The Emperor has wisdom behind him.
- And a lifetime of oppression!

- Maybe that's part of his wisdom.
- Tell that to his victims.

My God, Ignatz,
you are selling your soul.

- Who are you trying to please?
- "To please"?

Let's start with you
and your simple Hungarian heart.

Then I have
to please our family...

and the memory of our rabbi
grandfather and his blessed Torah.

There's the Emperor,
liberal spirit, Roman law.

I have to please the government
and its opposition.

What about my own
sense of justice?

I have to please our brother, who
wants to turn the world upside down,

and our father, who wants to keep
the world exactly as it is!

These are the people
I'm trying to please!


Would you like some air,
my dear?

The 19th century is over!
Long live the 20th century!

Happy 20th century,

This is your father talking.

Can you hear me?
Long live the 20th century.


I predict this will be a century
of love, justice and tolerance.

As long as we have our health,
we can work the rest out.

Happy 20th century.

I wish you
happiness always...

and may the child
be strong and healthy.

Thank you, Mama.

- ♪♪
- Let's have a twirl in the snow.

Two days later,
Valerie gave birth to her first son,


It's a boy.
It's a healthy boy.

It's all right, Rose.
Everything's all right.

- The curse, Emmanuel.
- The baby's perfect.

My dear Count, please allow me
to introduce Judge Sors.

- I've mentioned him many times.
- Oh, yes.

The man who warms the cockles
of your heart.

- My pleasure, sir. Forgach.
- Ignatz Sors.

- Are you a hunting man?
- I am...

- I am afraid not, no.
- You'll catch on quickly.

Come in.
Delighted to see you.

Please, do sit.
Thank you.

Let me just get straight
to the point.

Would you like to stand
for Parliament?


What are you suggesting,

We find
an appropriate district...

and put your name
on the party's ticket.

I don't think I could.

Why not? You're young, ambitious.
Your hands are clean.

The people think you're clever.
You're living proof the monarchy...

is enlightened and supportive
of middle-class values.

Frankly, it's a challenge
that's tailor-made for you.

My grandfather
was fiercely tempted...

by this invitation
to join the ruling class.

You must feel so honored
that refined,

influential gentlemen
appreciate you.

Excuse me, Mother,
but thanks to the influence...

of these "refined gentlemen,"
there has never been...

such rampant corruption,
such miserable conditions...

for working people than there is
at this very moment.

You're exaggerating,

Exaggerate? You come with me
to my clinic, Mother.

You see tubercular, gout-ridden,
undernourished workers...

and their emaciated,
half-starved children.

Come with me on house calls
to dank, musty rooms...

where people
sleep three to a bed.

Old people sleeping
on kitchen floors.

Ask bakers why people steal crumbs
from the floors of their wagons.

Why people line up
to buy stale bread!

You're describing conditions
in the poorest slums.

You can't expect the government
to change things overnight.

- Why not?
- I would be shamed if my husband...

were to stand for office
in such a corrupt government.

Wouldn't you all
be ashamed of him?

Honestly. Wouldn't you be
ashamed of yourself?

All I said is that I've been asked
to stand for election. Nothing more.

They're getting desperate.
The monarchy's become so weak,

they'll grab anyone that
makes them look respectable.

We are proud
you've had this offer, son.

It proves that your education
has been of value,

that you do your work well,
that you're respected.

But our people
must never climb too high,

even when
they're invited.

The man who comes from
somewhere else is always suspect.

We must stop and accept this.

If ever we expect
to find happiness in this life,

we need to know who we are.

Or change it.

My Uncle Istvan
was barely a toddler...

when his brother Adam,
my father, was born.

My family is against
my being a candidate.

- And why is that?
- They're not happy for me...

- to be involved in politics.
- Who should involve themselves...

in politics, if people
like you and I don't?

I prefer to remain
an independent judge.

Independent? Independent
from what, from the world?

All right, let it be.
I won't try to argue with you.

Just have a look
at this list, please.

The chief of police
just sent it over,

names of members
of Socialist organizations.

I'm obliged to point out...

that my brother's name
is on this list.

Yes, it is.

Would you explain to me
why rich, educated Jews...

are behind every attempt
to overthrow this government?

Jews become doctors, lawyers,
teachers. What more do they want?

I'm sorry I'm late.

What's wrong?

There's information that
you're part of a conspiracy...

intent on overthrowing
the monarchy.

What conspiracy?
What information?

- Oh, God.
- Well?

What? I've no part
in any conspiracy.

- Don't lie to me, Gustave.
- Keep your voice down.

- Mama and Papa will hear.
- Maybe they should be invited in.

Their house might be searched.

Their precious son, the doctor,
might be arrested.

The only thing keeping
you and your friends...

out of prison
is liberal tolerance.

"Liberal tolerance"?
Is that some sort of joke?

You mean tolerance
for misery and hunger...

for watching hundreds of thousands
of workers sink into poverty.

Is this the kind
of speech you make at rallies?

Where do you get the nerve
to go against the very empire...

that allows a Jew like you
to become a doctor!

- Or a Jew like you.
- Exactly!

Without the Emperor, you'd be
selling tonic like grandfather.

You only believe in this fairy-tale
Emperor out of pure greed.

I believe in a strong
judicial system...

and the right to assimilate
into the country I love!

You'll never be accepted here.
You'll be treated with suspicion.

- Only the workers will accept you.
- Yes, the Workers' Movement.

You share a common enemy:

You dream of a common goal:

A new Jewish prophet who wants
to destroy everything!

No, I want freedom.
For freedom, one must fight.

- Let the blood flow?
- Yes, please, let it flow!

- That is my wish!
- You know what I wish?

I wish God would rip that tongue
out of your mouth...

so you would stop spewing
your sick, vile...

Ignatz! No.

You put a curse on me.

You're better off silenced by
my curse than by a prison sentence.

Stop it! You're like two rabbis
fighting over the Torah.

Your husband's in love with success.

Yes, and I lust after power.

You're a loyal subject.

That's what makes you happy.
You love the Emperor.

You're on his side, aren't you?

- What do you mean, "on his side"?
- You two looking at each other.

- You think I'm blind?
- Are you completely insane?

Stop it, both of you!
Do you know what I want?

I don't want to be accepted
by people in power...

or by people who feel oppressed.

You want to know
what I do want?

I want to be proud
of my own language.

I want to look out of the window and
see a country that I know and love.

I want to grow like a wildflower,
where it belongs.

Can either of you
understand that?

Gustave fell gravely ill and lay
close to death for several days.

Ignatz was shaken, believing his
curse caused his brother's illness.

As soon as you're up and about,
you can go... and fight in a war.

"Assassination in Sarajevo.

Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the
throne is killed. " What's happening?

Emperor Franz-Joseph
has declared war.

It was this shot that determined
the fate of 20th-century Europe...

and every twist and turn
in this, my family's, story.

My grandfather became chief judge
of the southern front.

Gustave became
a high-ranking medical officer.

The empire seemed eager
to wage war against Serbia...

to punish the Serbs for what
they had done in Sarajevo.

Ignatz was called to Vienna
to appear before the Emperor.

For my grandfather,
meeting His Imperial Highness...

felt like the most important
moment in his life.

Come forward, Major, please.

Your name...
What is your name?


Major Ignatz Sors reporting,
Your Majesty.

sit down, Sors.

I have been told
a great deal about you.

There's no need for me to tell you
how to render just verdicts.

Essentially, I wanted to
meet you face-to-face.

When you're handing out
a judgment,

I'd ask you to remember that the
soldiers standing in front of you...

represent many different

Chief Military Judge
of the entire southern front...

Firmness, but, please,
respect the differences...

and exercise

The Emperor promised
the war would be over by the time

autumn leaves fell...
he was wrong.

Autumn leaves fell...
he was wrong.

The war went on
for years and years.

Ignatz was stationed as the judge
on the Balkan front...

where he handed down
strict sentences.

Serving the Emperor well
was his highest priority.

Far from home, he did not see
Valerie or his sons for four years.


The Emperor is dead.

That very night Ignatz
received a telegram from Valerie.

Emmanuel Sonnenschein
was also dead.

Ignatz took the coincidence of his
father's death and the Emperor's...

to be a strange
and significant omen.

- Amen.
- Amen.



sorry to bother you.

- Is the major Jewish?
- What is it, please?

I'm town clerk, and
I'm well-acquainted...

with the officers
being court-martialed.

Lieutenant Branko Susinsky
is Jewish.

L-I thought the major
would like to know this.

I am an officer of the Emperor first
and foremost, sir. Good night, sir.

Major, sir?

I beg to report, sir,
that we have surrendered.

- It's over, sir.
- Why are you grinning, man?

- We've lost the war.
- We lost, but we're still alive.

Everyone was
overjoyed that the war was over...

and yet Ignatz felt that
a great time had passed...

because the liberal empire that
had given him so much had collapsed.

Your babies
have grown into young men.

A very fat Adam.

These are very good.
Very good.

It is difficult for me to say,
but I'm going to divorce you.

I promise to raise our sons
to love and respect you as I do,

but I'm forced to accept you
as a man far different...

from the man
I'd hoped you'd become.

You are... now a man
without feeling.

"Without feeling"?

I cannot allow myself
to show my feelings.

This is my job.

I have to control myself.

Gustave is
so completely different.


Gustave is your lover,
isn't he?

- Admit it.
- You're mad.

- How long have you been lying?
- I've never lied to you.

Then when did you
stop loving me?

I haven't stopped. I'm your sister.
I'll always be your sister.

You're not my sister.
You are my wife.

Some son of a bitch
has seduced you,

so you've decided that from now on
I'm your brother.

No, I'm not your brother.
I'm your husband.

Neither my husband nor my brother
can give me what I need.

I'll suffocate
without love in my life.

For you, it's enough
to love the Emperor.

All you need is the illusion
that he loves you in return.

I've made myself clear.

You never believed
I was in love with you?

- You never were.
- Yes! Yes!

No, I loved you.

I seduced you, and you let me
because you knew I was safe.

You knew I'd always stand by you
because I'm your sister!

- I love you, Valerie.
- Stop it!

Valerie, I love you.
I do.

- I love you, Valerie.
- Stop it!

I love you.

I love you.

But I love you.

Put the teddy bear down.

I'll do it.

Are you really



I think it's best
if I go today, before we...

- break our entire inheritance.
- I love you.

And I love you.

The monarchy crumbled.
In Hungary, revolution erupted.

In 1919,
the Communists took power.

It occurred to Ignatz
that the empire...

and his marriage to Valerie
fell apart in much the same way.

Ungrateful bastards. Everything
you have, you owe to the empire.

They push us down!

now known as Comrade Sors,

became a high-ranking official
in Hungary's new government.

What is going on
out there?

We have the power, but we need
new laws. You can help create them.

You can play an important role
in shaping this country's future.

Why is this still here?

Leave it. I took an oath
to practice tolerance,

but I won't
tolerate retribution.

I'm sorry, but people
must have their revenge.

Our people must be shown they
can conquer if they have the will.

I can't conquer.
I can only convince.

Fine, then let me try
and convince you.

You sentence people in the name
of the monarchy, so you're guilty.

First it was my name
on the list. Now it's yours.

If you don't support us, you'll
have to account for yourself.

- Convinced?
- I'd like you to leave my room now.

You and your slut sister
can rot in hell.

Thank you,

Judge Sors?

Up the stairs

Come with me.

I arrest you in the name of the
Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

This house
will be searched.

Your braces
and your shoelaces, please.

You are under house arrest
until further notice.

Valerie heard the news
and returned home immediately.



- What do you want here?
- Good morning, Mama.

She was allowed to visit Ignatz
in his room once each day.

"Dr. Gustave Sors,
Government Commissar,

"has organized health services for
the children of the Proletariat.

Dr. Sors distributes bread and
jam to working-class children."

- I'm delighted.
- Would you like some bread and jam?

If you see me as a Proletarian
child, why not?

I'll bring it right away. "The
people ask, the people receive."

Freedom's that simple.

The people don't want freedom,
they want security.

I'm impressed that you know
the people so well.

A few months later,
with support from foreign armies,

a military regime
overthrew the Communists.

Revolutionary leaders
escaped abroad.

Gustave fled to France.

Ignatz refused to preside over
trials against the Communists.

He was forced into retirement.
His health deteriorated rapidly.

There's no salt in this soup.
It's not drinkable.

- Give me the salt.
- No, the doctor has forbidden it.


Give me the salt,
damn you.

You whore.
Kato, give me the salt.

- I can't.
- Istvan, get it for me.

No, Papa, it's bad
for your blood pressure.

Just give me the salt.
Fuck this family!

I've wasted my life for you.
I can't even have decent soup!

Why am I alive?

Here, my love.
Please, just take a little.

Do you want to kill him?

Do I want to... Aren't you ashamed of
yourself, in front of your children?

It's you who wants to kill him,
so you can get back to your lover!

- Mama!
- Shit.

Stop calling me, "Mama"! You seduced
my son and got tired of him.

- Mama, stop, please!
- No, you listen to me!

It's your duty
to listen when I speak.

I'm going to throw you
out of this house.

But, I insist you return the recipe
book you took from my husband!

Give it to my son this instant
because it's his!

- What are you talking about?
- You know what I'm talking about.

- My son's inheritance!
- My whole life is shit.

Fine! There's no more factory,

but I'll find the recipe
book for you, Mama,

if I have to tear
the house apart!

Help me.
Come on.

We're looking for a black,
clothbound notebook. Right, Mama?

You know better
than anyone, don't you?

I'm so sorry.

My grandfather,
Ignatz Sors, died within the year.


His grief-stricken
mother, Rose, died soon after.

Valerie was now
the head of the family.

Sors, come with us.

Is that the Jew boy
who's always smiling?

- Yes, it's him.
- On your knees.

On your knees, Jew.

Wipe that smile
off your face.

I thought the synagogue stink
left town with the Communists.

I still smell it.

- Me too.
- This Jew stinks.

- What sort of smell is that?
- It's cow shit.

It's Jew stink. Apologize
for polluting our air, rabbi.


- I apologize.
- See this saber?

If I ever see you again,

I'll circumcise your big head.

You'll have that miserable bastard
on his knees begging for mercy.

I promise you. You just
have to learn how to fence.

When I let go,
grab this in the air.

Pay attention. Again.

Mr. Anselmi, I'd like to
introduce my younger brother.

He would like
to train with us.

Catch this, please, Junior,
when I drop it.

Oh, molto bene.

Oh, big brother
has prepared you well.

Go find Junior
a clean outfit.

Fencing became
my father's passion.

Years passed, and my father Adam
became one of the country's...

most brilliant swordsmen.

My grandmother, Valerie, became
a successful photographer.

Bravo, Sors!

My Uncle Istvan lost the reddish
hair he'd inherited from his mother.

Quatre partout.
Etes-vous prets? En garde. Allez.

Adam and Istvan were
the top fencers in the Civic Club,

as skilled as any swordsmen of the
distinguished Army Officers' Club.

Mr. President, did you see it?


Attaque par de droite.
Pare. Riposte. A droite touche.

I'm sorry, Mr. President,
but I was hit.

Les actions sont simultanes.
Pas de touche. En garde.

Etes-vous prets?



L 'attaque sous la preparation
de gauche. A droite touche.

Vainqueur a gauche.

Mr. President,
I didn't win this match.

Captain, don't be upset.

You fought
extremely well.

- Good show.
- Well fought.

Bene, molto bene.

Everyone could see
you were the winner.

Oh, you can be a great fencer,
Junior, a national champion.

If you stay in the Civic Club,
you'll be a proper, young fencer,

but you will always be second.

But my friends
are members here, my brother.

I spoke with the general yesterday.
You will be welcome in the club.


I don't believe it.

He asked me if it's true
that you are a Jew.

What did you tell him?

I told him, "I don't know
things like this. I'm Italian."

And what did he say?

No Jews can be
in the Officers' Club.

You have to convert.

- "Convert"?
- Si, si, Junior.

Jesus himself converted.

Look, when all is said and done,
what do you want to do?

- Fence.
- At what level?

- The highest.
- That's the Officers' Club.

- Do you want to convert?
- I want to be Hungarian.

Do you think the gentlemen of
the Officers' Club are Hungarian?

They're Germans, Serbs and Slovaks.
Hungarian's not what you have to be.

- What do I have to be?
- Christian.

It's insane somebody
can dictate your religion...

just because he wants you
on his fencing team.

Your father and I were
taught by your grandfather...

to be proud
of being Hungarian Jews.

So for me to convert...
I could never.

Although I stopped praying
when I was a child.

Maker of Heaven on Earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God.

I believe in one Lord,
Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God.

Eternally begotten
of the Father.

Eternally begotten
of the Father.

God from God,
light from light,

- true God from true God.
- Begotten not made...

Excuse me.
May I introduce myself?

Adam Sors.
This is my brother, Istvan.

- Hannah Wippler.
- May we escort you home?

That's very kind of you,
but my fiancé's waiting for me.

- Oh, well, some other time perhaps?
- Perhaps.

Who is she?

She's a conversion candidate,
one of our group.

- Your brother's interested.
- Yeah, so it seems.

She won't have an easy task
landing the champion.

I agree.

Another heart to win,





Our Father, which art in heaven,

hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done...

- May I have a word with you?
- Yes, of course.

It's quite personal. I'd like to
speak with you in private.


So, how does it feel
to be Catholic?

Oh, I'm enjoying it.

My fiancé wanted me to convert.
He's from an old family...

and it's important to them to have
a Catholic daughter-in-law.

- You?
- I love you.

Uh, thank you.

But, I've told you,
I have a fiancé.

That changes nothing.
I am in love with you,

and I know that you
find me appealing.

I see it in your eyes.

What exactly do you see
in my eyes?

Your love for me.

You can't deny it.

- You've misunderstood my eyes.
- I haven't misunderstood...

any part of you.

I've never loved anyone
as much as I love you.

That's why
I would like you to be my wife.

Sooner or later,
I think you'll say yes.

You do?

- You think so?
- I know so.

You see, when I want to win,
I win.

Win what?
Who are you planning to defeat?

Your fiancé.

You're mad.

I love him.
I became a Catholic for him.

Well, then, consider that
you've done it for me.

I really must be going.

May I take your order,
Mr. Sors?

- No, I won't be staying.
- Stay for coffee. Talk with me.

- No, thank you.
- Please.

Two coffees
with whipped cream.

You are really
much too aggressive.

No, I'm really
much too in love.

If you'd ever really been in love,
you'd understand.

I'm here to see
Baron Felix Margittay.

- Adam Sors.
- Margittay.

- Yes, sir, I know.
- I'd like you to meet Mr. Sors.

- He'll be training with us.
- Adam Sors.

Do we assume that Captain Rossa
doesn't wish to meet Mr. Sors?

Not at the moment,
thank you.

I'll be back. Keep working.

please look after Mr. Sors.

You'll find the general's
instructions in my desk drawer.

Tomorrow, 4:00.
Bring your gear.

Don't worry about a thing,
just fight well.

- Name?
- Adam Sors.


- Roman Catholic.
- Rank?

- I'm not a soldier.
- That's unusual.




Sir, it's well past midnight.

That noise
is not allowed.

Why do people
call you "Junior"?

My brother started taking me
to the Civic Club to train...

when I was quite young.

He called me Junior, so...

So then, Junior,
here it is.

You're now a member
of the Officers' Club.

You are not important. It's the hits
you score and the team's victory.

Take this to heart,
and you'll have our full support.

You made the right choice.

is the only possible way.

So... that's all, Junior.

Straight. Stop.
Show me your wrist.

Have you ever
been left-handed?

When I was little, yes,
but my father said it wasn't normal.

Have you ever tried fighting
with the left hand?

Just for fun,
not seriously.

Show me.
Sans mask.

En garde.

Stop. So there's our answer.

Brilliant. We build up
your left foot and shoulder.

You're going to confuse everybody.
Being unpredictable...

That's what fencing's
all about.

Take it...

Your brother has a following.

Sors a gauche,
Rossa a droite.

Tempo. Crosscut to his chest
at the end and only at the end.

Where are you going?
This is not your side.

I have to go from the left,
otherwise, it won't work.

For me? Are you sure?
Thank you.

You're here.
Now I shall win for you.

Messieurs, en garde. Allez.

To win the
National Fencing Championship,

my father would have to defeat a
formidable opponent: Captain Rossa.

- Halte!
- Sir, I took the hit.

En garde. Allez.

Does he want to win the championship
or a trophy for good manners?

He needs to prove

- Halte!
- Bravo!

Bravo! Bravo!

- Bravo!
- Bravo!

- Halte!
- Sir, I took the hit.

Stop that nonsense!
Damn it, man, fight!

En garde. Allez.

Perfect timing.
He's a born fencer.


- Attaque a gauche. A droite touche.
- Vainqueur Sors.

First-rate. Congratulations.

Well done, Junior.

I'm very pleased.

- For after dinner.
- Thank you, sir.

Next time, no tears.
Rather too Jewish.


Would you hug each other,

- My Jewish musketeer. Happy?
- I am.

- Are you?
- Yes, Adam, I am.

- Congratulations.
- Thank you.

- Congratulations.
- Congratulations.

The following year, Istvan
and Greta were married as well.

For the second year in a row, father
won the National Championship.

Hannah and Greta gave birth to sons
within two weeks of each other.

Hannah named her son Ivan.


So, big brother
has brought you back...

- to Anselmi to learn fencing?
- It's the truth, sir.

Oh, I will teach you. Stand up.

- En garde.
- Maestro.

Oh, not the right body type.
No future.

Tell big brother to bring
a better little brother.

May I steal a private word with
the good counselor, please?

- Forgive me, maestro.
- Junior, I can offer you 150,000...

if you come back and fence
for us at the Civic Club.

- It's hardly a matter of money.
- Two hundred thousand.

Please, Mr. Brenner, you must
realize that every single man...

on the national team comes
from the Officers' Club.

Two hundred and fifty thousand
is our limit.

We have several bankers in on this.
It's a perfect trade-off.

You get money and full support,
and we get a national champion.

The way I see, a silver medal
at the very worse.

- Mr. Brenner, forgive me, but I...
- Half a million.

No. My answer is no.
You need a team for this sport.

That's a group of men
with a common goal.

You have more in common
with them than with us?

Yes, we're a team.

And if we manage to buy
a few of your teammates?

You propose to buy Royal Army
officers? Baron Margittay?

These men are gentlemen.
Forgive me, Mr. Brenner, please.


These people are disgusting.
Shall we dance?

I've promised Istvan
the first dance. Sorry.

But the next dance
is definitely ours, darling.

So you'll have
to be content with me.

They think they can buy anybody.


The little man over there,
Mr. Brenner, and his Jewish friends.

They think money's
the answer to everything.

Mr. Brenner specifically or
Mr. Brenner and his Jewish friends?

They're all the same.
It's a waste of time...

paying attention to these people or
even bothering to be polite to them.

Poor Junior.
I love you very much, you know.

I love you as well.

We're lucky in this family.
Everybody loves everybody else.

No, Adam,
I'm in love with you.

I wake up every morning
thinking about you.

I hope you're not angry
that I've told you.

No, I'm flattered. I don't know
what to do now that you've told me.

Just let me love you.

In your opinion, who is
the best coach in this country?

The best man to prepare the team
for the Olympic games?

- Baron Margittay.
- Exactly what I want to hear.

Next question:
Who on the team can win for us?

- That's a difficult question, sir.
- But you have an answer.

- I'm not sure I do.
- I'm sure you do. Go on, please.

- I would prefer not to answer, sir.
- Damn it, man, speak up.

The team will only be strong
if Tersikovsky stops drinking,

if Saray
makes fencing practice...

more important
than hunting and fishing...

and if Rossa gives up
his various plots and intrigues.

I see. Please write down
the ideal team.

The members
of the Olympic team are:

Captain Lugosy,
Captain Saray,

Captain Rossa,
Captain Tersikovsky,

Captain Rossa,
Captain Tersikovsky,

Mr. Sors.

This summer we have only one
objective: To win the Olympic games.

It is your duty as officers of
this magnificent country's army...

to inspire a strong
national spirit...

and to prove to the world that our
nation lives now and lives forever.

Thank you.

You'd do well not to try to
influence the team selection, Sors.

Otherwise, somebody might
cut you down to size.

- Why are you always smiling?
- Am I smiling?

One day I'll wipe
that smile off your face.

What's going on?

What's going on?

What the hell is going on?
Somebody answer me!

What are you doing?
Team practice is still going on.

Practice is over.
The gentlemen have left.

You can't see me?
I'm invisible?

Beg pardon, sir,
but this is a military club...

and the military gentlemen decide
how long team practice will go on.

The officers told me
to shut the lights at 10:00.

- Turn them back on.
- No, sir, I will not.

- Do you know who I am?
- I don't care who you are.

I am a national saber champion
and a member of the Olympic team!

Since you don't care about these
things, I'm gonna make you care.

Turn them back on!

You bloody Communist,
trying to sabotage our training!

Sir, please...

Get out!

Get out. Go!

- Adam.
- Greta.

- Is something wrong?
- No, nothing.

I've been waiting for you
to wish you luck in Berlin.

What happened?
You're so upset.

The caretaker was being difficult.
I lost my temper.

You must have had
your reasons.

I'm ashamed
of myself.

Am I always

Not often enough
at me.

- I nearly killed him.
- But you didn't.

No, I didn't.

Perhaps you'll kill me one day
when you've had enough of me.

Perhaps I will.

How will you kill me?
Strangle me?

- Good idea.
- Try it. Hold my neck, tight.

- What are you doing?
- I can't bear not being with you.

- You're my brother's wife!
- I'm myself.

Istvan is my brother.
I love him.

What makes you think
I would steal his wife?

You can't steal
what's already yours.

Why don't you
let yourself be loved?

You're the great love
of my life, Adam, not Istvan.


No, Greta.



Ladies and
gentlemen, Hungary's Adam Sors...

and Italy's
Stefano Sarto.

This match decides
the Olympic gold medal.


Touche, touche.

A gauche touche.
Messieurs, en garde.

Etes-vous prets?

Etes-vous prets?

Adam Sors' saber has broken, when
Sors looked about to even the score.

Venez, s'il vous plait.

Choisissez un sabre.

No, no.

Our Father,
who art in Heaven,

hollowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be
done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses...

Rimessa, Sors.
Undermine his tempo.

You are better
than he is.


en garde.

Etes-vous prets?

- Allez.
- Rimessa.

Touche, touche.

- A droite touche.
- Adam Sors made a fantastic hit!

Maybe our luck will change now!
One more hit to even the score!

Halte. Attaque par de gauche.
Remise. A droite touche.

Messieurs, en garde.

Etes-vous prets? Allez.

They stand fixed, still as statues.

The score is now four-four.
It needs only one more hit...

to decide which country will
take home the Olympic gold medal.

Attaque sous la preparation de
droite. Pare, pare. Riposte. Touche.

A droite touche.
Vainqueur a gauche... Monsieur Sors.


Monsieur Sors.

Yes! Yes! Yes!




Come on, let's go!

Well done, Junior!
Thank you! Thank you!

- Well done. Thank you.
- Thank you, sir.

Thank you, sir.

Congratulations, Junior.

The Olympic gold is ours!

Adam Sors, the national treasure.
Our wonderful national treasure.

Your father would have been proud.

Adam Sors, we
owe you our everlasting gratitude!

Well, dear boy...

you're disgustingly sweaty.

I've just telephoned
the Prime Minister. He's ecstatic.

He'll make mention of your victory
during tomorrow's Cabinet meeting.

You're a national hero, Junior.






Mr. Sors?

Your swordsmanship
is also a work of art.

- Thank you.
- I'm Laszlo Molnar,

President of the Pen and Saber Club
of Boston, Massachusetts.

- Ah, yes.
- I left Hungary after the war.

Would you have any interest
in living in America?

We could arrange American
citizenship for you.

- I would never leave Hungary.
- And why is that?

My family, my club is there.
I fence for the national team.

- Are you an army officer?
- No.

Why do you fence for
the officers of a dictatorship?

- What do you mean?
- You make a good impression...

for a dictatorship that
hangs innocent people.

In a way, you commit
the same crimes they do...

whenever you bring glory
to their bloody regime.

Are you saying that I fence for
a regime and not for my country?

Excuse me, sir.
You don't live in Hungary, I do.

Things have become
quite civilized...

- in the past few years.
- "Quite civilized"?

Mr. Sors,
listen to yourself.

Hungary courts disaster
by blindly following Germany.

Take this warning
as a gift from me...

in return for your splendid
Olympic victory.

Leave the country
before it's too late.



Excellency, ladies and gentlemen...

and citizens
of our beloved country,

this victory reflects pride
in a country we dearly love.

Every member of this team...

was guided
by a deep patriotic feeling.

We fought for the glory
of our magnificent motherland...

to show the world
that our nation lives...

and will live... forever!


- ♪♪
- Try to take some rest, Junior.

You'll need to rebuild
your strength for what's ahead.



Open it
when you're alone, please.


my darling hero husband.

- Are you happy?
- Happy? Am I happy? Are you happy?

- I am very, very happy.
- Good.

Ivan, my hero.


I prayed for you
while I pressed this flower.

It worked. You won.
See? You do need me.

If I'm in your life,
you'll always win.

When I listen
to Adam's speeches about...

"a patriotic spirit
guiding his saber,"

- I often...
- Are you being sarcastic?


It's just that sometimes
what you say is... a bit much.

- Is it a crime to love your country?
- Then why are you talking...

- about moving to America?
- It's only talk.

All I've said is that the Americans
have invited me, that's all.

- Just be proud of me.
- We're all proud of you, Junior.

Aren't you proud
of your brother-in-law, Greta?

- Couldn't be prouder.
- You, Mother?

- Of course I am, darling.
- Are you proud of your brother?

- Astonishingly proud.
- So am I, "astonishingly proud."

See, we're all proud of you.

Coming in?

- Where's my brother?
- At the summerhouse.

We're alone. I wanted us
to celebrate your victory alone.

You don't want to hear me, do you?
It won't happen.

I won't betray my wife
or my brother.

We've already betrayed them
with every thought that we've had.

Whenever your brother
touches me, I think of you.

- Do you have a mistress?
- Are you mad?

- Don't lie to me!
- How dare you call me a liar!

You're ready to lie to your husband,
so you expect me to lie to my wife,

my brother,
you want to ruin my family?

You'll be lying to me soon enough.

What's all this honorable behavior?
It's only coming out of fear.

- I'm not afraid of anything.
- Yes, you are. You're a hypocrite.

I'm ready to run away with you,
Adam, anywhere you say.

I thought you were a free spirit.
I was wrong.

You wouldn't know how to love me.
You only love yourself.

Don't walk away from me.
Come here.

Why do you love me,

Because when you found out
you were really left-handed,

you let yourself
be left-handed.

That was a miracle.

Fine. So I'll wait
for the next miracle.

You don't expect a miracle
from Istvan?


- Poor Istvan.
- Don't feel sorry for Istvan.

a deeply satisfied man.

He'll never change anything
about his life ever.

- Stop it, Greta.
- It's how I feel, Adam.

You want me to go home now and say,
"How was your day, darling,"

and slip into bed next to him and
carry on having an affair with you?

- I won't do that. I really can't.
- Nor could I.

Fine. Run along home and tell Hannah
a horrible thing's happened...

- so both of you can hate me.
- I'm not gonna tell anything.

I certainly don't hate you.

So what do you want?

Me to leave my husband,
you to stay with your wife?

Neither of us
leaves anyone?

Yeah. I suppose.

Go to hell.

"My family
and I leave for Algiers tonight.

"The Algerian Fencing Team
has been courting me for some time,

"and I've decided
to accept their offer.

My very best to you,
as ever, Margittay."

He wrote to me as well.

- Imagine how astonished I was.
- He's a traitor, sir.

It's not that simple.

The baron's wife is Jewish,
so his children are considered Jews.

He's a traitor, sir.

Anti-Semitism is the creed of
resentful and unsuccessful people.

It's a shared madness,
which the baron couldn't accept.

But we have.

The worst thing about anti-Semitism
is it's a philosophy of philistines.

It's in bad taste. I don't know how
much longer I can go along with it.

Clause four
of the law passed this afternoon...

limits Jewish involvement
in public and economic circles.

Insofar as the new law
is concerned,

a person is deemed Jewish if
he is or has at least one parent...

or has at least
two grandparents...

who are, at the effective date
of the legislation,

of a Jewish congregation.

Or who have been, before the
effective date of the present law,

members of any Jewish
religious community.

As well as and in addition to
the herein described,

all progeny born after the effective
date will be treated as Jews.

For now,
the new law will not apply...

to those who were decorated
with a silver...

or gold medal for gallantry
in the war of 1914 to 1918.

Your poor father
would have been exempt.

Those whose fathers were decorated
with the gold medal for gallantry...

or at least twice
with the silver medal,

- as well as any who participated...
- Then we're exempt as well.

In the national movement against
the 1918 and 1919 revolutions...

if he risked his life
or suffered loss of liberty...

as a result
of such activities...

as well as spouses and children
of these people.

Mother's exempt.

Further, those who
are active or retired priests...

- Monsters.
- Or ministers of Christian faith...

and those who, under the auspices
of the Olympic Committee...

earned the title of champion
at the Olympic Games.

That's us. We're exempt.
We're totally exempt.

- Not me.
- Yes, you are.

You're my wife,
wife of an Olympic champion.

We're exempt.

...will be removed
from their posts.

- No license to practice a trade...
- Kato, bring us more tea, please.

- Shall be issued to Jewish persons.
- Right away.

In professional law
or medical associations...

or organizations
of journalists, engineers,

theater and film artists,

Jews may only be accepted
in numbers not to exceed...

six percent
of total membership.

A Jew cannot be the managing
editor, publisher...

or member
of an editorial staff...

capable of exerting influence
on the editorial direction...

of any periodical
or journal.

A Jew cannot
be the director,

artistic director
or literary manager...

or an employee,
however designated,

who is capable of
determining intellectual...

or artistic direction
of a theater.

I've asked to see you, Sors,
because I've been given the task...

of drawing your attention
to an indisputable fact.

This is the Officers' Club.

If you want
to continue fencing,

I suggest you return
to your old club.

The laws don't apply to me. I'm
exempt for three separate reasons.

- I know all this.
- I'm Roman Catholic.

My father won a medal
for gallantry in the Great War.

I'm an Olympic champion.

I was also awarded
the Signum Laudis.

That's four reasons.
Well done.

You'll probably be promoted
to general.

I'm only interested in fencing,

- nothing more.
- Go ahead, fence.

There is no law stopping you,
but you won't fence with us.

You do know you would never have
become the Olympic champion...

were it not for the fact that
two of the judges were Jews.

These people are either
criminal or insane or both.

I beg you, please,
let's move away from here.

If you want to, we can all go.
Your whole family:

Hannah, Istvan,
your mother.

We owe it to our children
to get out while we still can.

I beg you, please.

We can get through this
if you just keep on loving me.

Hannah can't go
and leave her parents behind.

When will Hannah
get out of my bed?

- It's you who are in her bed.
- You wanted this too.

I certainly did not.
You started this. You wanted it.

What frightens you more,
Adam, me or this country?

You don't stop, do you?
If I'm going to choose,

I'm gonna stay with Hannah, who's
only exempt because she's my wife.

- Give this up.
- I won't give you up...

because I can't give you up because
that's what love does to people.

Evidently not to you.
I don't care about your family.

- You want me to kill my family?
- Yes, yes, kill them.

- I wish Istvan were dead.
- Jesus, you're monstrous.

I can't see
any other way out.

Fine. I never want
to see you again.

- Happy New Year.
- Happy New Year.

- Happy New Year.
- Happy New Year.


- Happy New Year.
- Happy New Year.


Happy New Year.

- Happy New Year.
- Happy New Year, Mother.

Happy New Year,

Ivan, Happy New Year.

Happy New Year,

Happy New Year.

Please, God,
may we always go on singing.

Your grandfather, Emmanuel
Sonnenschein, used to say,

"Be glad
that you were born here.

This is the promised land."

These things
are only temporary.

- Don't you agree with me, son?
- Yes, Father, I agree.

For God's sake, Adam, open
your eyes. Don't delude yourself.

You're afraid to see what they are,
and they'll see what you are.

Don't be ludicrous.
I'm not afraid of anything.

- I'm just not going to stand here...
- Adam, we must leave here.

talk to him.

We can go to America,

We have to get our visas
before it's too late.

For the sake
of our children, please.

How could we make a living
away from here?

We'll sell
the "Taste of Sunshine."

You know how to make it.
You can teach us how.

- We'll make it, and we'll sell it.
- No, I can't.

Your grandfather tried to teach me,
but I never really paid attention.

I was only interested
in photography.

- Where do you think the recipe is?
- Here somewhere.

He always worried
it would get lost or stolen.

- Let's try to find it.
- Now? It's New Year's Eve.

Yes, now! We can't just
stand here and do nothing.

Calm down, Greta.
You're hysterical.

Oh, don't say that.
God damn your helplessness.

- God damn your Jewish cowardliness!
- Greta!

I want to stay alive.
I want my son to stay alive.

If you all want to die trying to fit
in with these people, then do it!

Stay here and die,
but not me and not my son!

Greta, you must never say anything
that sounds like a curse.

Not in this family.

For days on end,
they tried to get visas,

but quotas had been filled,
borders closed.

Dr. Adam Sors, graduate of law,
resident of Greater Budapest,

born in 1902, mother's
maiden name Valerie Sors...


is hereby commanded to appear
with three days' food rations...

and suitable clothing
for winter weather conditions.

Mrs. Sors, I'll try
to arrange for him...

to stay in the regimental
barracks in Budapest.

- I'll do everything I can.
- Thank you.

Please... No.

Sors, something
I once said to you:

That assimilation
was the right choice.

I'd like to ask your forgiveness
for having said that.

I was profoundly wrong,
and I apologize.

Do you still want
to be married to me?



The German Army
occupied Hungary.

My mother and grandmother
were moved into the Budapest ghetto.

Twenty people were assigned
to each tiny apartment.

Mrs. Sors, when they start to move,
get up to the attic.

He says
we should go to the roof.

Start coming
up here in groups of ten!

A few weeks later,
ghetto Jews were herded together...

and marched
to an unknown destination.

My mother Hannah
was among them.

No one knows where
or how she was killed.

My grandmother, Valerie,
managed to escape...

to a safe hiding place
in a friend's attic.

The general couldn't help us,
and my father and I...

were sent to a labor camp
close to the Russian front.

You... with the white armband,
over here!

What's this?
Christmas tree decorations?

I am Dr. Adam Sors,
officer of the Hungarian Army.

What's this white exemption rag
doing on your arm?

Where'd you buy it, Jew?
How much?

I am the national
fencing champion.

What are you?

I am an Olympic
gold medalist.

Look at me.
Stand up.

Stand up.

I'm gonna teach you
what you are.

You're garbage. You're
a stinking Jew. Strip, Jew.

All your clothes.
All your clothes off!

I'm asking you again, Jew.
What are you?

Adam Sors, Doctor of Law,

officer of the Hungarian Army.

- What are you, Jew?
- Adam Sors,

Hungary's fencing champion,
Olympic gold medalist.

Something must be wrong
with my ears.

What do you think
you are, Jew?

Adam Sors,
Hungary's fencing champion,

Olympic gold medalist.

Adam Sors,
Hungary's fencing champion,

Olympic gold medalist.

Adam Sors,
Hungary's fencing champion,

Olympic gold medalist.

Adam Sors, Hungary's fencing
champion, Olympic gold medalist.

Adam Sors,
Hungary's fencing champion,

Olympic gold medalist.

Hang him on the tree.

Come on.

And now,
what are you, Jew?

Adam Sors...

Hungary's Olympic...
gold medalist.

Neighbors suspected
that Jews were hiding...

in Greta's apartment
and called the police.

Hungarian Nazis
broke down the door...

and dragged my Uncle Istvan,
Greta and their son to the Danube,

where, like thousands of other
Budapest Jews, they were shot...

and their bodies thrown
into the icy river.

Five days after they died,

the Russians liberated Budapest
from the Nazi rule...

and World War II was over.

After my family was taken away,

Kato packed up our belongings...

and hid them somewhere
in her village.

It's me, Gustave...

your brother.

The Communist Party called
Gustave home from exile in France.

In spite of his age, he returned
to politics with great enthusiasm.


Your father?

They killed Adam too.

What happened?

He said...
he was a Hungarian officer.

He wouldn't admit
that he was a Jew.

That's why
they killed him?

- How many were there?
- Three, military police.

- How many were you?
- I don't remember.

Maybe... 2,000.

There were only
three of them?

There were ten more guards
in the camp.

How could 13 guards
hold back 2,000 people?

They had guns.

Why didn't you run at them,
grab their guns?

One or two people might be shot,
but you could have had them.

- You could have escaped.
- And go where?

- Anywhere.
- There was no place to go.

People would have hidden you.

In France, they hid us.

People either hated us
or they were scared of us.

If we were going to survive,
we had to stay together as a group.

And you just stood there
and watched them kill your father?

No, I...

They didn't know
that I was his son. They...

- They had to hold me down...
- So what did you do?

- Enough!
- Nothing!

I just stood there.

That's all I could do!
I could do nothing!

He should join the police, help them
round up the fascist bastards.

I can have a word
with the Comrade General.

He should study.
He hasn't finished school.

It says here that
your father was a lawyer.

Did you know he has
exactly the same name...

as the greatest
Hungarian fencer ever?

That was my father.

- Adam Sors was your father?
- Yes.

I used to fence a bit,
but I never had natural talent.

Your father was unbeatable.
He was a magician.

Where were you
during the war?

I was with my father.

You've come
to the right place.

Sit down.

We're going to get every one
of those fascist bastards.

There can be no forgiveness
for what happened here.

It cannot be fobbed off
on the Germans.

It was organized
by Hungarian authorities.

It was carried out
by Hungarian civil servants:

Village mayors, local police,
railway officials.

Nice, ordinary Hungarian people
did the dirty work.

Who came up with the Jewish laws
in the first place? Parliament.

Most people just turned
the other way.

You think
about your father.

It's your job
to find his murderers.

Look under the couch, Rosner.

Can you tell us how
this stuff got here?

I have no idea.
I've never seen any of it before.

Ah, you were blind,
but now you can see.

I'm sorry,
those things are private.

- "Kisses taste of acacia honey."
- That's private!

- You wrote this?
- Yes, I'm a poet.

Just a poet? You wrote poems while
your friends did the killing?

Dr. Adam Sors was
the world's greatest fencer,

a national treasure.

That he was swept away
by the storm...

- was not only a loss to our country,
- "Swept away by the storm"?

- But the entire world.
- Sors was murdered.

Dr. Adam Sors Fencing Center.

Happy now?

How do you like playing
cops and robbers?

- I like it, Comrade General.
- Come and join the Communist Party.

We need young people
we can trust like you.

You agree,
Comrade Sors?

Bring your application
to me directly.

You can see how
these partisan have been captured.

They terrorized the people who
had already suffered appallingly...

under a 25-year Bolshevik rule.

Our army is fighting against
the Red Devil, and it is victorious.

Our prison camps are a haven
for the starving Russian soldiers.

At least here
they have bread to eat.

Witness the horrendous crimes of the
Red Terror now fleeing the villages,

the dying babies.

- Well?
- We were smack in the middle of it.

There was no way
to say no.

We just watched.
It was horrible.

You managed to watch all right,
didn't you?

You just stood there, and you
did nothing. You just watched.

You just fucking filmed it,


You went
to the Russian front...

17 times.

How come?
Weren't you scared?

I've never been
to the Russian front.

Don't lie to me.
It's on film.

The real footage was
all classified top secret.

I got orders to shoot films that
looked like it came from the front.

We built the Russian village:
Stage set, scenery.

Everything was shot 20 kilometers
out of Budapest.

Whose idea was this?



You think you're an artist?
You're the worst kind.

You don't even think
what you did was a crime.

I've never hurt anybody.

After the war, I shot
the Communist Party's first film.

- I've never held a gun in my life.
- You've never held a gun?

Go on, pick it up.

It's a lot less heavy than your
camera, and your chance to shoot me.

Finish off what your fucking
fascist friends started!

Pick up the fucking gun!

Pick it up!

You shit!

Take this pencil.

Write down the names of every
single person you ever worked with.


They all signed?

Even that film director
friend of yours?

He gave us 25 new names.

People will do anything
to survive.

On their first day
in Hungary,

the gestapo received 10,000 letters
from people denouncing each other.

They have nothing
to be proud of.

Number seven:

He's written some
beautiful poetry.

He got some bad advice
from his friends.

- Cross him off.
- But he wrote pro-Nazi articles.

He publicly denounced
several writers.

No, he's a great poet.

We won't let him publish
for a while. Cross him off.


Fifteen: Laszlo Pan.
Cross him off.

But there are
22 letters against him.

He turned down anyone
who came to him for help.

He advised people being
investigated to commit suicide.

He was scared stiff.
He was a country boy in a big city.

He's happy to have
an asshole that works.

- What about his racist speeches?
- Tricked into it.

Look, we don't want to hurt
genuine talent.

It's enough to scare them.

In the end,
they'll work with us.

It's the dilettantes
we want to grab by the balls.

Most of the real
fascist writers are unreadable.

The fascists who've come over to
our side. Do we just let them go?

Every new regime
demands betrayal.

Until it consolidates
its power,

it uses traitors
and then gets rid of them.

What is the matter?

I'm just thinking
about my father.

Don't be impatient.


Stalin! Stalin!

My dear comrades,

I have been given the honor of
speaking on behalf of those of us...

who have been decorated
on this special day:

Comrade Stalin's birthday.

We express our profound
gratitude to Comrade Stalin...

for eliminating fascism
from the face of the Earth...

and freeing our land
from the Nazi's rule of evil.

Comrade Stalin...

Comrade Stalin
has shown us the way.

It is our duty
to carry on his struggle,

to find all fascist cowards wherever
they're hiding and destroy them.

I offer...

I offer our eternal gratitude
to Comrade Stalin...

who leads us into tomorrow
where all men will be equal,

where exploitation and humiliation
will be unknown...

in the world of Communism!

Turn the light.

Comrade Major.

Thank you.

- Congratulations.
- Thank you.

Come over here, Ivan.

I want to introduce you
to a couple of foot soldiers.

This is Comrade Major Sors.

Take a good look at him,

One day soon, you're all gonna be
terrified of him.

Right, Ivan?

Any children yet?

Anybody who can make such
stirring speeches should procreate.

Why do you look so unhappy?
Everyone here adores you.

- I'm not unhappy.
- Look in there.

It looks like a sad man to me.

- Something's the matter.
- Nothing's the matter.

Fine, but I won't waste my time
flattering you like everybody else.

Even the Comrade General said
you'll be a minister soon.


- Sorry if I'm annoying you.
- You're not.

- But I would love to talk sometime.
- I have time.

- When?
- Now.

Oh, I can't now. I'm just leaving.
My children are alone.

I could walk you home.

So the sad man wants to escape...

and needs someone
to show him the back stairs?

I have to go.

Don't you like
to be kissed?

I can't do this.
I have a family. What am I...

I'm sorry.

Good morning, Comrade.

I saw you and Carole Kovacs slip out
of the opera together last night.

I should warn you,
she's definitely spoken for.

Fatherly advice.

She told me she had a husband
and two children.

Her husband blew up
Gestapo headquarters in Paris.

He's one of the heroes
of the French Resistance.

You don't want to make
an enemy of him.

Her husband belongs to
the Comrade General's circle.

Life is full of surprises,
isn't it?

Back to work.

I saw your light was on.

I request permission to enter,
Comrade Major.

Comrade Major.

I just came
to say good night.

Good night.

Am I the first?


What have you been doing
since you started shaving?

I was in a camp.

I think you might be the first man
I could really fall in love with.

What about your husband?

I admire him.

During the war, in the Resistance,
he made me feel safe.

- He's a very brave man.
- But you don't love him?

I do, but...

I think I married him because
I knew he would protect me.

- They were terrible times.
- He doesn't protect you now?

I don't know.

We were in Paris during the war.
It was different.

We all had the same aim.

Since we've been back,
I don't know.

- Everything's changed here.
- Was it better in Paris?


It belonged
to your great-great-grandfather,

our grandfather, Aaron.

Perhaps you'll give it
to your own child someday.

So beautiful.

This fish
is beautifully prepared, Kato.

The thing I most missed
in my exile was your cooking.

are you flirting with Kato?

Look who's jealous. Why did you
marry Ignatz instead of me?

Because you were
far too crazy, my dear.

The way your breasts bounced.

They don't bounce any longer.

- Your grandmother was a beauty.
- She still is.

Are you worried
I might seduce your grandmother?

I might seduce your grandmother?

Nothing would surprise me
in this family.

Wasn't it wonderful
growing up in this house, Gustave?

The most wonderful thing was
waiting... to be touched by you;

day after day,
year in, year out.

No one can take
that memory away from me.

- Now the only thing missing...
- Is a "Taste of Sunshine."

- Was it really that good?
- Gorgeous!

- Did it make you drunk?
- Oh, a little drunk.

A little drunk
and a lot happier.

I found an empty bottle
the other day.

As soon as we find the recipe,
Kato and I will brew up a batch.

- Look, there's a drop in there.
- Oh.

Mmm. Mmm.
I got it.

My God, what a wonderful taste
in such a tiny drop.

Oh, let me see.
Oh! It's delicious!

Like some?

You know,
I had a dream last night.

I dreamt that the courtyard
was filled with flowers,

and you know what that dream means.

It means someone
in this house is in love.



Oh, you must learn
how to play the piano.

How am I going
to do that? When?

Your uncle and I
can teach you after work.

Gustave on Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays.

And I on Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays.

No lessons
on Sundays?

What am I going to do
with so much free time?

But you cannot live
without being able to play music.

Die, you son of a bitch.

I don't care about my work
or my husband, nothing but you.

Leave him.
We'll live together.

- You're not serious.
- We can get our own place.

You don't know my husband.
He would find us and shoot us.

- We're grown up, love each other.
- And I love my children.

He would never let me
take them with me,

and I could never
leave them.

It's easy for you.
You're just you.

You could change your mind and
leave me after a couple of months.

How do you know?
How do you know?

How do you know what we have
together isn't just...

- No, I want you. I believe this.
- I don't believe you.

I'll tell everybody.
I'll tell your husband.

Promise you'll never speak a word
about me to anyone, not even Knorr.

Why do you bring him up?

Because I know he's
a good friend of yours.

But good friends
with others too.

Promise me.

I will.

- What's wrong?
- Nothing.

- You look strange.
- I'm scared.

- Of what?
- I'm scared we're being watched.

- Who's watching?
- Everybody. I don't know you.

This is worse
than the Resistance.

Sit down, Comrade.
Sit down.


We've uncovered a conspiracy,
bankrolled by overseas money.

- Guess where from.
- United States?

From Israel.

The conspiracy
is completely Zionist.

Three Central
Committee members,

two generals,
a police major general,

a group of doctors,

university professors.

All Jews who should be
thanking the Soviet Union...

and the Red Army
for their fucking lives!

These Jewish gentlemen...

think they can hoodwink poor,
unsophisticated workers like us...

because they've read
their precious Talmud.

They're also planning to
take over the Workers' Movement.

Not a one of them has ever
so much as held a hammer.

Look at these hands!
These are worker's hands!

These people are only with us
out of revenge against the fascists,

not because they believe
in the Workers' Movement.

So, okay.

They say there are Anti-Semites
in this country.

Whose fault is that? Who's got the
best jobs? Jews. Here we go again.

Whose fault is that? Who's got the
best jobs? Jews. Here we go again.

I believe more Jews came back
from the camps than were sent.

Your assignment is to drag
these bastards in...

and indict
every one of them.

This won't be easy. You've got a
close, personal connection in this.

- Me?
- Andor Knorr, your beloved boss.

He's one of the heads
of the whole thing.

- That's impossible.
- We have film...

of Knorr speaking
with Israeli agents!

Read this.


You yourself could be highly suspect
because of being so close to Knorr.

Keep Jews off your team.

Tell me what
they're accusing me of.

A Zionist conspiracy.

Intention to overthrow
the Socialist state.

Are they crazy?

I have been ordered
to interrogate you.

Let's get started.

Thank you.

When did you first enlist in
the conspiracy against the State?

Never. I've never enlisted in
any conspiracy against the State.

We have filmed proof of your
meeting with Zionist agents...

in the museum garden
on the fifth of this month.

Made by your film director friend?
Who played my part?

This is not a joke.

What connections do you have
with Zionist agents?

I told you.

I've never met
with Zionist agents.

I don't even know
any Zionist agents.

- Not even before the war?
- No.

What about at your orphanage?

Have you ever heard
the word "Zionism"?

- Of course I have.
- Where?

At the orphanage,
I had a friend.

He and some of his friends
wanted to emigrate to Palestine.

I joined the Young
Socialists instead.


why didn't you go to Israel
if your best friend was with them?

Because they were religious,
and I was not.

If there hadn't been
the Young Socialists,

I'd probably be living
on a kibbutz in Israel now.

- Well, don't you see?
- I didn't have to be ashamed...

of my origins, and I didn't have
to be proud of them either!

What happened to you
during the war?

- I was caught and put in Auschwitz.
- Any Zionists there?


- Enough of this nonsense.
- No, it's not nonsense.

You better understand,
this is not a game.

I'm asking you questions on orders
from people way up there.

As an officer of this department,
you are a suspect.

You're under arrest.
If you don't answer thoroughly,

things are going to get tougher,
and you know what I'm saying.

There's a lot of evidence here
that singles you out...

as one of the leaders
of this conspiracy.

If you don't give me a confession,
you aren't going to leave here.

Don't hold your breath.

Why are Jews involved
in everything?

Wasn't Auschwitz
enough for you?

Even you will never
be free of Auschwitz.

was our baptism.

There is something
you must know, though.

Surviving Auschwitz doesn't
make a man better or greater.

It's just burnt into your brain!
It can never be erased!

That's the problem.

What was the purpose
of this miserable life?

Life itself,
that we are here.

A long time ago
we were happy.


There are only
two of us left.

Only two Sonnenscheins.

Everything's become
so difficult again, Nana.

He's denying it? Have the son
of a bitch slapped around!

The man's gone through a lot of
suffering. He survived Auschwitz.

Strange how the suffering
of Jews seems to touch you.

Don't you know that
other people suffered?

Ordinary people were shipped off
to the front to fight...

or else they stayed at home
and fought on their own doorsteps.

Don't these kind of people
matter to you too?

With all due respect,
after surviving Auschwitz,

I don't think a beating
is going to break him.

It's not the quality of the man.
It's the quality of the beating.

I'm not sure Knorr's guilt can ever
be proven without a confession.

- Then get one out of him!
- He calls himself a Communist.

Are you a policeman
or a fucking Boy Scout?

If he keeps saying
he's a Communist,

make him understand that his
confession's important to the Party.

Our number one priority
is to let the world know...

the Workers' Movement is not
under Zionism's thumb,

and Marx and Engels
are not Jewish prophets.

By the way, you don't know how lucky
you are that your uncle died.

"Reunion of veterans
at the Gellert Hotel."

These people lived in the West,
and they must have been brainwashed.

We'll have these traitors
in our net in two weeks.

Another question: Who does your
grandmother take pictures for?

My grandmother takes pictures for
herself. She's just a photographer.

"A photographer"? You're surrounded
by questionable people.

Do you have
a girlfriend?

If you do,
have her investigated.

Let's try to avoid
any more nasty surprises.

- I have to ask you something.
- Go on.

- The Knorr case...
- I don't want to hear of it.

- It's important to me.
- I don't want to know about it.

Why did you ask me here?

Don't get me mixed up in any
of this. Please, don't.

Who benefits... from turning me
into the enemy?

Or is it we've just gone back
to anti-Semitism as a solution?

No new ideas?

In October, 1944, you were
recaptured by the fascists,

sentenced to death and shot.

Your body fell into the Danube
under the Margaret Bridge.

So how come you're still alive?

Touch it if you don't
believe your eyes.

They've turned you
against me.

We're children
of an unfortunate race.

Who is the traitor,
you or me?

How dare you bring me this hopeless
pile of shit of a confession!

Is this a joke?

Comrade General,
I'm obliged to report...

that the evidence
turned out to be unfounded.

I am convinced that
Andor Knorr is innocent...

of the charges of Zionism
and of conspiracy to overthrow...

the People's Republic.

I believe that
we have been set up.

Watch out, Sors,
or you'll be next.

Captain Rosner!

- Comrade General?
- You're taking over the Knorr case.

I want you to interrogate Sors
about his relationship to Knorr!

- As a suspect?
- As a witness... to begin with.

You're lucky I was involved so
directly in your spectacular rise.



- Leave before it's too late.
- That's why you called?

I love you, Carole.
I'm begging you to come with me.

Where? Into the bushes to fuck
with my skirt over my head?

I was wrong
about you.

I was wrong to love you.
I thought you were different.

I need someone safe, someone calm
and strong, not neurotic like you.

Do you think you're in danger
because of me?

So... it's over?


So how do you want
to end it?

It's not that complicated.

Stand up, walk out the door
and close it behind you.

You're a cold bitch.

You only love a man
if he feeds your ambition.

That's the truth.

You want truth?

I'm pregnant, and I don't know
who the father is.

- Your husband?
- Either him or you.

What are you going to do?

I'm taking care of it.

There's a man under the window.

I think I've seen him before.

Go to hell.

I left your grandfather once.
I fell in love with another man.

Your grandfather and I
hadn't been getting along.

He wasn't the sort of person
I hoped he'd be.

The other man was...
passionate, a wonderful lover.

That is important, darling.

He gave me an old medallion
engraved with: "I love you."

When your grandfather got in trouble
with the Communists, I came back.

You must try to find joy
in your life.

Do you realize how delicious
this coffee is with warm milk?

In the spring,
Joseph Stalin died...

and a struggle for power began
in the Communist Party.

Soviet Communists exposed Stalin's
horrendous crimes and victims.

Men like Andor Knorr
were now acclaimed as heroes.

Comrade General was arrested,
but nothing really changed.

One gang replaced another, and the
Communist dictatorship continued.

Because I'd worked under Knorr,
I was asked to identify his body.

I learned that Knorr
had been beaten so badly,

he had died
from internal bleeding.

I'm sorry to bother you. My name is
Sommer. Andor's widow is my sister.

Andor talked
about you fondly...

and about your father,
the Olympic champion.

Would you mind saying
a few words at the funeral?

As you know, he was an atheist.
I can't ask a rabbi.

Honor guard,
prepare to fire the salute.



Shoulder arms.

Honor guard,
left turn.

Quick march.

- Excuse me.
- Left. Left.

Left. Left.

Andor Knorr... one of your murderers
has come to your grave...

to say good-bye to you.

I was your first interrogator,

someone who you trained
to defend the cause without mercy.

We believed we were going to make
the world a better place for people,

but, instead,
we made it so much worse.

As servants of power-hungry
criminals, we became criminals.

Our politicians lied to the people
by saying they were doing good.

The people lied to the politicians
by saying that they believed them.

I'm not just saying
good-bye to you.

I'm also saying
good-bye to myself.

I stood by and watched my father
be... tortured and executed,

and I did nothing.

Then I watched them
do the same thing to you,

and I did nothing.

I make a promise,
here at your graveside,

to do everything to punish those
who have turned ideals into crimes.

Just after the war, I found a framed
quotation on my father's desk.

It said: "We are afraid
to see clearly...

and of being seen clearly."

At the time, I couldn't
understand what it meant,

but now
I understand perfectly...

because this is precisely
what happened to us.

Andor Knorr...

my friend...


Why are you crying?
Are you in mourning?

I'm warning you.

You said things we tolerate from no one,
not even if times have changed.

- Fuck you.
- Do you know who you're talking to?

- Who's that?
- Another incident like this,

- and you'll be off the force.
- Say the word. I'm happy to quit.

Do you know the difference
between a worker and a Jew?

If a worker doesn't like something,
he leaves without saying good-bye.

A Jew says good-bye,
but he stays.

go fuck yourself.

I quit the police force
right away.

I knew I had to work
against the regime.

Exposing their crimes would help me
to cope with my crippling guilt.

Never again Communism!

Confusion grew to chaos.

People took up arms against
the Soviet Army. Revolution erupted.

There were ten days
of initial euphoria,

during which time
freedom seemed attainable.

But then Russian tanks
appeared in Budapest.

People took to the streets and
fought against the Soviet intruders.

Shall we
be slaves or men set free?

That is the question.
Answer me.

By all the gods of Hungary,
we hereby swear...

that we, the yoke of slavery,
no more shall wear!


Communism is crumbling.

They may roll their tanks
over us and their kind of terror,

but Communist dictatorship
has been defeated!

We are together today.

The judge and the accused,

This revolution is not about
politics, it's about morality!

Let us show them our strength!
The whole world is watching us!

We must have no fear!
Come on! Show them!

Come on.
Come on!

Come on!

Ultimately, the resistance
was futile. The revolution failed.


Nice to have you back.

A film of my speech
was used against me in court.

I was sentenced
to five years in prison.

If you feel you've done the right
thing, you can endure anything.

Are you sure of that,

I have seen the collapse
of government after government,

and they all think
they can last a thousand years.

Each new one always declares
the last one criminal and corrupt...

and always promises a future
of justice and freedom.

No political discussion allowed.
Your time is up.

My darling,
you are not in prison.

They are in prison.

Stand up, please.

I was released three years later.

My watch is missing.

- What are you looking for?
- My pocket watch is not in here.

- If you put it in, it's in there.
- No, it isn't.

There's no watch in here.
Look, it's gone.

- Then it was never in there.
- What do you mean? I put it in.

- It was in there.
- Are you saying we stole your watch?

I'm saying the watch I inherited
from my great-grandfather is gone.

I put it in this sack.
It's not in there now.

Would you please go into the back
and see if it's fallen out?


Nothing there.

I'm not leaving
till I get my watch back.

- Guard.
- Get out!


Looking for somebody?

My name is Sors.

I'm looking
for my grandmother.

You must be the one
they locked up.

Granny Sors.

Your grandson is here.

See, Granny, I told you they'd
let him out sooner or later.

Come into my room.
This is my grandson.

- Ledniczky.
- Ivan Sors.

- Mama.
- Hello. Ilona Ledniczky.

Who are all these people,

Oh, I'm not allowed to have
such a big apartment on my own.

But it's all right.
They're good people.

- And Kato?
- Kato's fine.

She's moved back home
to her village.

She couldn't stand
sharing the house.

Poor thing's
much older than I am.

Is there room for me?

Maybe we can get the maid's room
back, but there are five of them.

I lost the pocket watch, Nana.

Never mind. Much more important
things have disappeared.

Love. People.
What's a pocket watch?

I thought great-grandfather came
and took it back from me.

Well, maybe it is good
to believe in something.

I've never been much
of a believer.

If there's no God,
and there never was a God,

why do we miss Him so much?

Why did we become
Communists, Nana?

It was our fate.

The Jewish laws,
the camps.

After all, it was the Communists
who liberated us.

I could never have been
a Communist like you or Gustave,

but, even as a child,
I felt disgust...

when I saw how poor people fought
for crumbs on the bread wagon.

Politics has made a mess
of our lives.

life was beautiful.

I've enjoyed waking
every morning.

I've always tried to photograph
what's beautiful in life,

it hasn't always been easy.

What are you looking at, Nana?

The light.
It keeps changing.

What do you want
to do with your life?

I don't know.

I have to report
to the police once a week.


We should try
and find the recipe.

It's still hidden
in this house somewhere.

Search through
everything thoroughly.

Searching's the only job
I've ever done.

Are you sure
this recipe book exists?

- Or have you only heard about it?
- I saw it as a girl.


Ilona, would you mind letting my
grandson look through the bookcase?

- We're searching for something.
- Come right in, Granny.

Start at the bottom?

No, no.

No, no.

Look here.

- Granny?
- Can't breathe.

- Granny.
- Open the window.


I'm here.

What's your name, dear?

Can you say
your name, please?

Valerie Sonnenschein.

your name is Sors.

Valerie Sors.

Mrs. Ignatz Sors.

Valerie Sonnenschein.


- How are you?
- I'm fine. Thank you.

- And the children?
- Very well.

- Nothing's changed?
- No, not really.

I'm sorry I couldn't say
anything else at your trial,

but... my children
and family...

Oh, that's all right.

Wouldn't mind talking to you if you
wouldn't find it too unpleasant.

No, of course not.

- I need your phone number.
- Excuse me.

She didn't suffer.

Her walking stick's
in the corner.

Comrade Major,
how are you doing?

Glad that you're
finally out of prison.

- Beautiful cane. Hurt your leg?
- No.

I have no face.

My dear son, Ignatz.

You've now left the safety of the
house in which you were born...

in order to achieve your
life's goal: To become a judge.

To create laws,
as Moses did.

To render justice,
like King David.

To exercise power, from which
the Almighty has barred us...

or, perhaps, protected us for
thousands and thousands of years.

You are entering a new world where
you will certainly be successful...

because you have knowledge.

Study has always been
our religious duty as Jews.

Our exclusion from society has given
us an ability to adapt to others...

and to sense connections between
things which seem diverse.

But if you feel you have power,
you are mistaken.

If you feel you have the right
to put yourself ahead of others...

because you think you know more
than they do, you are wrong.

Never allow yourself to be driven
into the sin of conceit.

Conceit is the greatest of sins,
the source of all other sins.

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,

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.

I think of you,
with all my love.

Your father,
Emmanuel Sonnenschein.


I'd like to apply
for a change of name.

- You want to change your name?
- Yes.

- From Sors?
- Yes.

- To what?
- Sonnenschein.

Spell that, please.


And what's your reason?

Why do you want
to change your name?

Family reasons?

Problems at work?

Legal problems?

For the first time in my
life, I walked down the street...

without feeling
like I was in hiding.

My great-grandfather, Emmanuel,

must have been the last
Sonnenschein to feel like this.

I knew the only way
to find a meaning in my life...

my only chance in life...
would be to account for it.

My grandmother's words
returned to me:

Try to photograph
what's beautiful in life.

By the time
I finished this story,

the third tragic misadventure
of the 20th century was over.

After the monarchy
and fascist rule,

the Communist regime
also went up in smoke.

I remembered the recipe book
that we had lost...

and suddenly realized
that the family secret...

was not to be found
on its pages.

It was preserved
by my grandmother,

the only one
in our family...

who had the gift
of breathing freely.