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Secret Sunshine (2007) More at IMDbPro »Milyang (original title)

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Secret Sunshine -- When her husband passes away in an automobile accident, Shin-ae and her son Jun relocate down south to her late husband's hometown of Miryang. Despite her efforts to settle down in this unfamiliar but much too normal place, she finds that she can't quite fit in. She opens a new piano academy and makes attempts to mingle with the neighbors, but nothing works.


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Release Date:
22 December 2010 (USA) See more »
A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
10 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Faces of a suffering woman See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order)

Do-yeon Jeon ... Shin-ae

Kang-ho Song ... Jong Chan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yeong-jin Jo
Mi-kyung Kim
Yeong-jae Kim
Seo-hie Ko
Myeong-shin Park
Jung-yeop Seon ... Jun

Directed by
Chang-dong Lee 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Chang-dong Lee 
Chong-jun Yi  novel

Produced by
Lee Hanna .... producer
In Soo Kim .... executive producer
Chang-dong Lee .... executive producer
Original Music by
Christian Basso 
Cinematography by
Yong-kyou Cho 
Film Editing by
Hyun Kim 
Production Design by
Jum-hee Shin 
Sound Department
Steve R. Seo .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Byung-seo Kim .... camera operator: "b" camera
Editorial Department
Yong-gi Lee .... colorist
Music Department
Pablo Chinen .... music engineer
Santiago Zambonini .... music coordinator

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • HFR  dailies
  • HFR  digital intermediate

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Milyang" - South Korea (original title)
See more »
Argentina:142 min | South Korea:142 min | USA:142 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

South Korea's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008).See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Tiny Toon Adventures" (1990)See more »


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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Faces of a suffering woman, 21 December 2007
Author: moimoichan6 ( from Paris, France

Corean cinema can be quite surprising for an occidental audience, because of the multiplicity of the tones and genres you can find in the same movie. In a Coreen drama such as this "Secret Sunshine", you'll also find some comical parts, thriller scenes and romantic times. "There's not only tragedy in life, there's also tragic-comedy" says at one point of the movie the character interpreted by Song Kang-ho, summing up the mixture of the picture. But don't get me wrong, this heterogeneity of the genres the movie deals with, adds veracity to the experience this rich movie offers to its spectators. That doesn't mean that it lacks unity : on the contrary, it's rare to see such a dense and profound portrait of a woman in pain.

Shin-ae, who's in quest for a quiet life with her son in the native town of her late husband, really gives, by all the different faces of suffering she's going through, unity to this movie. It's realistic part is erased by the psychological descriptions of all the phases the poor mother is going through. Denial, lost, anger, faith, pert of reality : the movie fallows all the steps the character crosses, and looks like a psychological catalog of all the suffering phases a woman can experience.

The only thing is to accept what may look like a conceptual experience (the woman wears the mask of tragedy, the man represents the comical interludes) and to let the artifices of the movie touch you. I must say that some parts of the movie really did move me (especialy in the beginning), particularly those concerning the unability of Chang Joan to truly help the one he loves, but also that the accumulation of suffering emotionally tired me towards the end. Nevertheless, some cinematographic ideas are really breathtaking and surprising (the scene where a body is discovered in a large shot is for instance amazing). This kind of scenes makes "Secret Sunshine" the melo equivalent of "The Host" for horror movies or "Memories of murder" for thrillers. These movies are indeed surprising, most original, aesthetically incredible, and manage to give another dimension to the genres they deal with. The only thing that "Secret Sunshine" forgets, as "The host" forgot to be scary, is to make its audience cry : bad point for a melodrama, but good point for a good film.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Secret Sunshine (2007)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
This movie seemed similar to Lars VonTrier's movies ivantikhvin
Blatantly anti-Christian krachmacher
what did he say? *spoiler* rocksteady77
Retitled Milyang. arbocss
Soundtrack? trustmeimtrouble
Liszt piano work - connection to Ophuls? daleac
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