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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:
A Nutshell Review: Secret Sunshine 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
Other crew
Joshua Jason .... publicist

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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5 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: Secret Sunshine, 15 March 2008
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

Initially, I would have thought that Secret Sunshine had something critical to say of religion (and here being Christianity), and wondered if it would be something of a rant against the ills of blind faith, or the manipulative power of those who are supposedly holier than thou. Surprisingly, it was none of the sort and was largely non-judgemental, putting in place events as a matter of fact, and allowing the audience to draw their own judgement and conclusion.

And I can't help but to chuckle at the role of Song Kang-ho, a man who's taken a liking for widower Shin-ae (Jeong Do-yeon), and starts going to church when she does. The reasons for church going are many I suppose, either to find inner peace, to seek help, being afraid of eternal damnation in the fires of Hell, to reaffirm faith, or even things like wanting to get married in a church, or to skirt chase (I kid you not). But to each his own reasons for turning up in church every Sunday and participating in prayer groups for fellowship, what is indeed dangerous, is when the underlying ulterior motives, do not get satisfied, and that's when frustration sets in. Or when you discover how hypocritical man can be, portraying one face inside the house of God, and displaying yet another outside.

Shin-ae and her son Jun moves to the town of Miryang, which is the birthplace of her deceased husband. Wanting to start life anew, she opens up a piano shop to give lessons, though in discovering her new found freedom and in a moment's lack of good judgement, has another tragedy befall her. And that takes one hour to get to. Secret Sunshine really took its time to get to this point, where things then begin to get slightly more interesting with Shin-ae now taking to embracing religion to deal with and accept her current state, reveling in the comfort that religion, and fellow believers, can offer.

What began as crying out for sympathy turns into acceptance and belief that religion offers that silver bullet to solve the ills of all mankind, and sometimes you wonder if it's because of your personal myopic view of what the almighty is doing for you, that you begin to adopt a somewhat selfish opinion that everything's good going your way, and in Shin-ae's case, her magnanimous attitude in wanting to forgive others who had trespassed against her, forgetting something very fundamental that it the feeling can cut both ways too.

The last act is probably the most fun of the lot as it says plenty, where most of us can identify with - why me, and why not someone else, as we rage against our faith and start questioning, unfortunately, with no hard and fast answers available. It is then either we fall by the wayside, or continue with destructive deeds so rebelliously. But somehow the plug gets carefully pulled in Secret Sunshine so as not to offend, and what could have been an ugly character mouthpiece, got muted.

If you bite into the hype this movie is generating, then perhaps you'll realize only Jeong Do- yeon's excellent portrayal is worth mentioning, as she totally owns her role as the widow Shin-ae who is probably the most unluckiest person on Earth in having to deal with that many tragedies over a short period of time, and if you look at it carefully, most of which are of her own doing. Watching her transformation, is worth the ticket price, and despite having my personal favourite Korean actor Song Kang-ho in the movie, this is something he just breezed right through.

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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
Blatantly anti-Christian krachmacher
Question about the last scene subratjain1
This movie seemed similar to Lars VonTrier's movies ivantikhvin
what did he say? *spoiler* rocksteady77
Retitled Milyang. arbocss
Soundtrack? trustmeimtrouble
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