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Secret Sunshine (2007)

Milyang (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 22 December 2010 (USA)
2:35 | Trailer
A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life.


Chang-dong Lee


Chang-dong Lee, Chung-Joon Lee (novel) (as Chong-jun Yi)
17 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Do-yeon Jeon ... Shin-ae Lee
Kang-ho Song ... Jong-chan Kim
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hye-jin Jang ... Park Myung-suk (as Hyae Jin Chang)
Yeong-jin Jo Yeong-jin Jo ... Doe-seop Park
Mi-kyung Kim Mi-kyung Kim
Yeong-jae Kim Yeong-jae Kim ... Min-ki Lee
Seo-hie Ko Seo-hie Ko
Sung-min Lee
Myung-shin Park Myung-shin Park ... Female Missionary
Jung-yeop Seon Jung-yeop Seon ... Jun


When her husband passes away in an automobile accident,Shin-ae relocates down south to her late husband's hometown of Miryang. Despite her efforts to settle down, in this unfamiliar and "much too normal place, she finds that she can't quite fit in. Helping her out is Kim Jong-chan, a good-intentioned but bothersome bachelor, who owns a car repair shop. Life plods on. However, fate takes a vicious turn when Shin-ae loses her son in the most horrific way a mother could imagine. She turns to Christianity to relieve the pain in her heart, but when even this is not permitted, she wages a war against God. Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



South Korea



Release Date:

22 December 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Sunshine See more »

Filming Locations:

Miryang, South Korea

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


South Korea's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008). See more »


References Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) See more »


Written by Christian Basso and Diego Chemes
Performed by Christian Basso
Published by Warner Chappell Latin
See more »

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User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Secret Sunshine
15 March 2008 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

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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